PRESTON – Mountain Crest went on a 16-5 run to cut Preston’s lead to four with seven minutes to go, but could not get it within a possession. The Mustangs had several opportunities, but could not find the clutch bucket to tie up the game. With six minutes left Preston pushed the lead to six and then stole the inbound and was fouled to push it back to eight and hit free throws to ice the game 57-49.
Preston won without their top player, Brecker Knapp (17.7 ppg), who twisted his ankle early in the first and sat the rest of the game. Preston led the whole way, aided by a 19-7 first quarter. The Mustangs had a chance to cut the lead to six before half, but Hunter Pugmire missed two free throws and a three after a rebound before Drew Jones banked in an off balance three to go up 11 at half. The Mustangs couldn’t find the big buckets to get the game tied.
Coming into the game the Indians got 50 of their 57 points per game from their starting lineup and, without Knapp, seven Indians scored. Jones was the leading scorer with 15, including 7-8 from the line. Cam Hobbs also scored 12 and Rhett Larsen had nine. Preston was 21-28 from the charity stripe, icing the game by going 8-10 in the closing period. The Indians were able to dominate the boards early and draw whistles on second chance opportunities.
In the first game all season Mountain Crest had three players in double figures. Preston Lofthouse had a game high 16, Oliver Nethercott had 14 and Karesn Falslev had 10. Only three other players scored and combined for just nine points. The Mustangs continued their struggles from the free throw line, going 7-12, and are now 47-97 on the season.
The Mustangs cut down on their turnovers but lost the battle 12-11. However, Mountain Crest’s turnovers continue to come at the most crucial moments. The in bounds turnover after being down six, the five second count when only down four; they continue to come at crucial moments. Mountain Crest hosts Wasatch Wednesday at 7 p.m.