Sharks' strong season cut short vs. Mustangs

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By Jenna McKenna

In the first round of the District 6 1A tournament, Meadowbrook brought their "A" game, and emerged the 64-43 winner over Cedar Key.

"We didn't come out the way we wanted; we didn't execute our game plan," said Sharks' head coach Aaron Haldeman after the game.

Cedar Key certainly looked in it early, as both sides started off slow and the Sharks played strong defense against the Mustangs. Meadowbrook put up a 6-0 lead on shooting by Angel Gonzalez, Adam Shively and Anthony Smith. Justin Speegle scored first for Cedar Key on a putback, then David Bishop finished a three-point play. Bishop's pull-up jumper tied the score at seven, and the Sharks' defense allowed them to push back against Meadowbrook's attack, ending the first quarter at 9-9.

The Mustangs exploded in the second quarter, forcing seven turnovers against the Sharks and outscoring them 17-6. Angel Gonzalez led Meadowbrook with 10 points as Cedar Key struggled to contain them.

Bishop scored backing into the lane and Tom Sakelson went baseline for a reverse layup, but the Sharks had difficulty getting second chances when their shots didn't fall. Meadowbrook went up 26-15 at the half.

The Sharks put on a mighty comeback in the third quarter, as they returned to clean the boards and drove more aggressively, getting to the line. Speegle had two free throws to start the quarter off, and Bishop had another. Richie Rain scored on two trips running, helping the Sharks cut the Meadowbrook lead to nine. Missed assignments on defense allowed a flurry for the Mustangs, however, and Meadowbrook went on a late third quarter run, led by Smith's 10 points. The Mustangs led 44-29 after three.

Meadowbrook turned it on again at the top of the fourth, running up eight quick points before Joseph Bishop's two free throws got Cedar Key back on the board. David Bishop had a steal and a layup, then two free throws of his own, but the lead kept stretching. Kyle Taylor led the Mustangs in the fourth quarter, with his eight points.

"The last time we saw this team, they opened up in a 1-3-1 zone at our place," Haldeman said. "They did the same thing this time, and we talked about quick ball reversal, shooting the gaps, but we didn't do it. We passed a lot and held the ball."

Although the loss is disappointing, it is in no way the story of the season, Haldeman said.

"Overall I think we've been pretty successful this season," he said.

"We finished 9-11 in the regular season, and I don't think we can let this loss be what our season was all about. We did a lot of good things this year."