Mustangs liking their positions with playoffs looming

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Grace Allen scored 34 points on Jan. 26 against Banning Lewis.

By Daniel Mohrmann

The Manitou Springs girls basketball team is putting its losing streak in the rearview mirror as the regular season nears its end.

This postseason will look vastly different from what the Mustangs (8-8 overall, 5-4 Tri-Peaks) are used to. The addition of Class 6A in basketball put Manitou into 4A, which means the team won’t participate in the 3A district tournament this season. Instead, the Mustangs play a 23-game schedule and roll right into the state tournament, should they qualify.

The good news is that the Mustangs sit firmly inside the 32-team field as determined by the Colorado High School Activities Association selection and seeding index. As of Feb. 1, the Mustangs sit at No. 18.

“This year, I feel like we’re in a better situation for seeding,” coach Juliana Argyle said. “Last year, we had to battle through districts, and it depended on how we did there to see where we would be seeded. I feel like this year, going into the end of our regular season, we can get a few more wins under our belt and stay in that nice area where we are now.”

We have to figure out how to put four quarters together. — Cassidy Kuzbek

The Mustangs halted a three-game losing streak thanks to a 64-34 win over Banning Lewis on Jan. 26. Grace Allen added to her record season, scoring 34 points in the win, which tied the school record Amy Schofield set.

The Mustangs traveled to Pueblo Central two days later to get a 41-24 win over the Wildcats. Getting back in the win column is nice, but what’s more important for the Mustangs is figuring out how to put together complete efforts for the next two weeks to improve their playoff seeding.

“We have to figure out how to put four quarters together,” Cassidy Kuzbek said. “We’ll be good for one quarter, then fall the next quarter. We score a lot in one quarter, then follow it up with just seven the next. We just need to come together and figure out how to put together four strong quarters.”

If there’s one thing that will help in that regard, the head coach has identified it in recent days.

“Their level of commitment,” Argyle said. “We talked last week that we have seven games left. So this is what they make of it. It’s what they make of it in practice and in games. Their continued level of commitment is exciting and will hopefully let us finish strong.”

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