Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Mullen Tops La Cueva.(Sports)

Byline: From Journal Reports

Coloradans Take An 88-75 Decision

BASKETBALL ROUNDUP

The Mullen Mustangs have a seven-hour drive ahead of them back to Denver today. But the trip to Albuquerque has been well worth it.

Mullen (3-0) pulled away from the 3-2 La Cueva in the fourth quarter for an 88-75 win Saturday night, earning the Albuquerque Academy Invitational boys basketball championship.

Mullen's defensive pressure proved too much for the Bears (3-2) in the second half.

"I think we started playing better defense in the second half and that was the main difference for us," said Mustangs coach Porter Cutrell. "This was a good tourney with lots of good teams here."

For the Denver-area private school, the trip to Albuquerque not only provided a first-place trophy to add to its collection; it became a makeshift training camp as well.

"We all came together as a team down here," said post Gabe Stevenson, one of three Mustangs named to the all-tournament team. "There's no doubt that was part of us coming down here. We've all come to like each other a lot."

The 6-foot, 4-inch Stevenson, who will play at Cornell University, finished with a game-high 27 points, 12 of those points coming from the free-throw line in the second half, eight in the fourth quarter. …

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