Broncos boys dig early hole, fall to Norman

Daniel Coffey tries to drive around a player during a recent basketball game. The Broncos fell behind early before rallying Tuesday against Norman. However, the effort came up just short. Mustang returns to action Thursday in tournament play at Woodward. Photo / Ron Lane

NORMAN — Falling behind early has become a bad habit for Mustang High’s boys basketball team.
The Broncos surrendered 22 points in the first quarter and trailed by as much as 14 late in the second period in a 75-68 loss Tuesday to the Norman Tigers.
Ben Emmert, a 6-foot-5 senior center, scored 20 of his game-high 22 points in the second half as the Tigers (2-3) held off the Broncos.
“We dug ourselves too big a hole early in the game,” Mustang coach Scott Hodges said. “We’ve got to come out better than that.
“We allowed 22 points in the first quarter. Most of those came on layups or open shots.”
As had occurred when they fell behind 16 points in its season-opening one-point loss to Edmond North a week ago, the Broncos tried to storm back behind the play of guards Ethan Scott, Jacobe Johnson and Cade Schroeder.
Mustang trailed 39-28 at halftime, but managed to narrow the gap to 64-57 on guard Carter Holland’s 3-ball with about six minutes left.
But Norman went to its four-corners spread offense to shorten the game, seek layups or high-percentage shots and force MHS to foul.
Had the Tigers shot free throws better in the fourth quarter, they could’ve settled the outcome much earlier.
Norman was just 7-of-15 at the charity stripe down the stretch, but managed to foul out Schroeder, center Jacob Henderson and Holland.
The Tigers ended the game sinking 19 of 33 foul shots, while MHS hit just 10 of 16.
“That’s a senior-heavy team,” said Hodges, noting Norman was able to take advantage of the Broncos’ youth and inexperience.
But Mustang again showed positive flashes offensively.
Scott, a 5-foot-10 sophomore, topped Mustang by scoring 10 of his 17 points in the second half. Freshman Johnson netted 16 points, and Schroeder added 15 points and nine rebounds.
“We’ve got to learn to trust each other and share the ball better,” Hodges said. “We’re playing like individuals, but we did score 68 points, so I feel like we can be better.”
The Broncos nailed eight 3-pointers, including three apiece by Scott and Schroeder.
Norman’s athletic, fast-paced offense placed four other players in double-figures besides Emmert. Jaden Bray, Jonah Paden and Trentez Scales each had 13 points, and Connor Goodson scored 11.
Mustang returns to action at 5:10 p.m. Thursday, when it meets Enid in the Woodward Tournament.

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