Mustangs lose Sectional

Justin Miller
Fancy footwork: Mustang Austin Johnson shows his dribbling.

After a dominating Regional run, the Chillicothe Junior High season came to a heartbreaking end with a 45-26 Sectional loss to the still unbeaten Washington Middle School.

The eighth-grade Mustangs started out playing the Panthers tight by keeping their explosive offense capped.

The Mustangs took their first lead when Konnor Smithson swished a three to put them up 5-2.

But the Mustangs’ lead would not last, and they found themselves behind 9-8 when the quarter closed.

When the second quarter began, the Panther offense took over the game and used Mustang turnovers to create points of their own.

When the Mustangs took the ball, Austin Johnson was their main catalyst, making speedy passes and moving the ball around to his teammates.

Despite Johnson’s great play, the Mustangs were trailing, 24-12, at halftime.

Coming out in the third quarter, the Mustang defense needed to find a way to slow down the Panther offense.

Defensively, the Mustangs used their speedy pressure defense to do just that.

Offensively, however, the Mustangs were unable to put up more points than the Panthers and found themselves down, 29-17, heading into the final quarter.

The Panthers started the quarter hot, beginning with a two-point shot.

Less than halfway to go in the quarter, Johnson knocked down a three to put the Mustangs within eight points of the Panthers.

Washington Middle School responded by scoring the final 11 points of the game.

“Washington was really good,” coach Marty Ogburn said. “They just had a little more firepower than us.”

The Panthers won the Sectional, 45-26.

“We had a really good season, to only lose three games and win Regional,” Ogburn said. “I’m really proud of the boys. They worked together and that’s key.”

The Mustangs finish the season with a 19-3 record.