Jets fly by Mullen for first round win
Mullen's Riley Rice tosses the ball up into the hoop after being fouled in the second quarter. Rice scored 7 points in Mullen's 61-39 loss to Sterling.
The Sterling Jets flew by the Mullen Broncos in the final period to send the Mullen Broncos home in the opening game of the Class D2 tournament 61-39.
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The Mullen Broncos showed no signs of rust from a 59 year layoff from the Boys State Basketball Tournament. The Broncos took an early first quarter 8-7 lead then increased it to 16-7 before Sterling came back to take the lead with nearly two and half minutes left in the first half. Trailing by five, Mullen's Gabe Connealy made a 3-point attempt at the end of the first half to trail 23-21.
The Broncos were off to a slow start in the third quarter but were able to push the Sterling lead to within 10 points when Mullen's Jake Spies banked in a shot from the free throw line before the buzzer ended the third quarter.
The Broncos appeared to have ran out of gas in the final quarter as Sterling kept rotating fresh players into the game. The Jets defense created Bronco turnovers resulting in easy layups to push their lead over 20 points.
Connealy led Mullen in scoring with 18 total points followed by Riley Rice with 7, Nathan Vinton 5, Jake Spies 4, Zach Call 2 and Josh Vinton 2.
Jake Wirthele led the Jets with 20 points followed by Connor Malone with 14. Malone also recorded 9 blocked shots in the game.
Mullen's season ends with 22 wins and four losses.