Mustangs finish up regular season this weekend with two gamesHannah Buermann (left) and Brooke Nyman battle for the loose ball in Crane�s win over Adrian. (Photo by DEBBIE RANEY)

By Debbie Raney
Burns Times-Herald

The Crane Mustang girls varsity was busy last week, playing three league games in three nights, winning all three.

On Thursday, the Mustangs had a chance to avenge their only loss of the year as they hosted the Adrian Antelopes — and avenge they did. In January, Crane lost to Adrian by one basket, 39-37. At this meeting the Mustangs came out on top, 50-40.

The Mustangs fell behind at the opening of the game, missing shots underneath, while allowing Adrian’s exchange student Letizia Bordoli to score at will. Crane trailed by seven points at the end of the first quarter, 17-10, and was still behind by seven at halftime, 26-19.

Coming onto the court in the third, the Mustangs had stepped up their level of play on both ends of the court. September O’Crowley and Brooke Nyman picked off steals that were converted to baskets, and Hannah Buermann and Brenda Otley scored as the Mustangs ran their offense. With 1:20 left on the third quarter clock, Crane took their first lead of the game, and the fourth quarter began with the Mustangs leading 35-32.

Crane’s momentum carried into the fourth, with Natalie Bentz getting open for a shot from the field and a fast break. The Mustangs were up by 10 points, when the Antelopes hit both shots of a shooting foul, and followed it with a 3-pointer the next time down the floor. With two minutes to play, the score was 44-37, and Adrian went to a full-court press. During the last two minutes, Buermann, O’Crowley and Nyman made two free throws each to keep the Mustangs in the lead.

Emilee O’Toole recorded five assists in the game, giving her teammates the chance to score.

Crane had three players hit double digits — Bentz with 14 points and Buermann and O’Crowley made 11 each.

1    2    3    4     Final
Cra     10   9   16   15     50
Adr     17   9    6     8     40

Points — O’Crowley 14, Buermann 11, O’Crowley 11, Nyman 8, O’Toole 4, Otley 2.
Rebounds — Bentz 9, O’Crowley 7, Otley 4, O’Toole 3, Nyman 1, Buermann 1.
Steals — O’Crowley 7, Buermann 2, Bentz 1, Nyman 1, O’Toole 1, Otley 1.
Assists —O’Toole 5, Buermann 4, O’Crowley 3, Bentz 2.
Crane’s 53-34 win over the Prairie City Panthers on Friday started out with steal and a lay-in by O’Crowley. Before the first quarter ended, the Mustangs had picked off the ball seven times — Otley had three steals in the quarter, Bentz grabbed two and Buermann and O’Crowley one each. All but one of the steals gave the Mustangs an opportunity to score, and as the second quarter began, Crane was ahead 20-5.

Prairie City and the Mustangs matched point for point through the second quarter, until the last two minutes. Savannah Duff hit a shot inside, and as the Panthers went to offense, Buermann stole the ball. The steal gave O’Toole a chance to nail a 3-pointer, and then the next trip down the court, O’Toole scored again in the paint. At the half, Crane led 35-14.

During the third quarter, and the top of the fourth, the Mustangs spread their lead to 30 points, leading 52-22. With five and one-half minutes to go in the game, Crane’s bench took the court. Cassidy Corrigan pulled down three rebounds and Paige Landon blocked a Panther shot, while Nichole Bentz added one point to the Mustangs’ total.

O’Crowley was Crane’s top scorer, hitting for 19 points with Na. Bentz putting in 11.

1    2    3    4     Final
Cra     20 15   11    7       53
PC       5    9    8    12      34

Points — O’Crowley 19, Na. Bentz 11, Otley 7, O’Toole 7, Buermann 6, Duff 2, Ni. Bentz 1.
Rebounds — O’Crowley 9, Buermann 5, O’Toole 3, Corrigan 3, Nyman 2, Na. Bentz 1, Duff 1, Steeves 1.
Steals — Na. Bentz 6, Otley 4, O’Crowley 2, Buermann 2, O’Toole 2.
Blocked shot — Landon 1.
For their final game of the weekend, the Mustangs traveled to Monument to play the Dayville/Monument Tigers.

Crane brought home a 38-14 win, with the starting five seeing only one full quarter of action, and the backup players getting time on the court.

Individual scoring was not available for the Mustang win.

This week will wrap up the regular season for Crane, as they travel to Jordan Valley on Friday. Feb. 12,  and host Huntington on Saturday, Feb.13.

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