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Cornerstone Classic lures top teams

Mustang’s basketball teams, with many of their key players underclassmen, have been growing up the difficult way: through the school of hard knocks.
In recent games, Mustang’s boys and girls have shown improvement despite setbacks against highly ranked opponents.
Mustang’s quintets will embrace yet another chance to gain invaluable experience when they host the second annual Cornerstone Holiday Classic at the Mustang High School Event Center beginning Thursday.
Mustang’s boys (3-4) will battle Midwest City Carl Albert’s Titans (2-2) at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
The Broncos lost 65-58 at home Dec. 17 to Southmoore, 6A’s
second-ranked squad and a state tournament semifinalist last season. But Mustang bounced back, winning at Stillwater, 59-41, last Friday.
Mustang coach Scott Hodges feels his team is making strides as it seeks consistency.
“Yeah, it’s a process,” he said. “Learning to play hard every game.”
Sophomore guard Ethan Scott and freshman guard Jacobe Johnson pace Mustang in scoring, averaging 19.7 and 14.1 points, respectively.
Senior guard Cade Schroeder chips in 12.6 points per game.
Scott, a 5-foot-10 transfer from Westmoore, scored 78 points in three games two weekends ago as Mustang won twice and placed third in the Woodward Tournament.
He erupted for 34 points in a victory over Enid on Dec. 12 and was named to the all-tournament team.
“Coach has said we’ve got to be ready every time we go on the floor,” Scott said. “There’s a lot of good teams in this tournament.”
Schroeder added, “It’s a pride thing. We don’t want to be outworked on our home floor. Our goal is to win the tournament.”
The Lady Broncos (3-4) will play at 7 p.m. Thursday against Verdigris (6-1).
Coach Katie Bass’ team narrowly missed pulling off a huge upset on Dec. 10, bowing 57-52 at No. 2-ranked Norman, the defending Class 6A state champion.
MHS led late in the game before faltering.
Mustang’s girls posted a 57-33 road victory at Stillwater last Friday and has won its last two outings.
The Lady Broncos’ top scorers have been three guards,
sophomores Talia Pogi (12.6) and Jaki Rollins (8.6) and freshman Jordyn Rollins (8.7).
Other first-round girls games are Piedmont (5-1) vs. Midwest City (6-0) at 9 a.m. Thursday, Edmond North (7-1) vs. Bixby (2-4) at noon and Newcastle (4-0) vs. Owasso (2-3) at 4 p.m.
Other first-round boys games are Midwest City (3-0) vs. Minco (8-0) at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Owasso (0-2) vs. Westmoore (3-4) at 1:30 p.m. and Putnam City (2-1) vs. Catoosa (5-2) at 5:30 p.m.
Seven of the teams in the classic are ranked in the Top 10 of their classes:
• For the girls: Edmond North is No. 1 in 6A; Piedmont is No. 1 in 5A; Newcastle is No. 3 in 4A; Verdigris is No. 8 in 4A, and Midwest City is No. 9 in 6A.
• For the boys: Carl Albert is No. 3 in 5A; Midwest City is No. 4 in 6A, and Minco is No. 4 in 2A.
A year ago, Edmond North knocked off Mustang, 47-38, to capture the girls championship. Midwest City won the boys crown, topping Lawton Eisenhower, 81-57.
The tournament is sponsored by Cornerstone Bank.

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