LITTLETON — The Dawson School girls basketball team has been on a roll of late and it's in no small way a result of the Mustangs' defense.
On the road Thursday night, the Mustangs shut down yet another opponent en route to their fifth straight win. Their latest triumph was a 41-17 victory over Front Range Christian, a win that kept the Mustangs unbeaten in Mile High League play.
So far in a stingy month of January, the Mustangs have held each of their past four opponents to 30 points or fewer. Even on nights when his team's offense hasn't been as sharp, it's consistency on defense has been a comfort for head coach JR Sagner.
"We're a better offensive team than what we showed tonight and it was a little bit ugly at times," Sagner said. "But our one key factor that has held strong for us has been our defense. I told our kids early on that we're going to have nights where the ball doesn't go in the basket but if we continue to play tough on the defensive end, we're going to be just fine."
Coming off a game in which they gave up just 20 total points to Clear Creek, the Mustangs (9-2, 4-0) pulled ahead right away on Thursday night by holding the Falcons (6-5, 1-3) to just 2 points in the first quarter and one made field goal through the first three quarters. Front Range Christian didn't crack double digits until just 3 minutes, 53 seconds remained in the fourth quarter.
Kaitlyn Day, who is leading the Mustangs with 16.6 points per game, scored 13 on Thursday night and Maddy Timms added 11.
The Mustangs returned all five starters after posting a 13-8 record last season and figured to be an improved squad. Still with tougher Mile High teams to play like Heritage Christian and Highland, as well as a rematch with a Denver Christian team that beat them 39-37 at a tournament in December, the Mustangs feel good about where they stand past the midway point of the 2018-19 regular season.
"There's one game I feel like we dropped that we shouldn't have and we were down some kids that night," Sagner said. "Other than that, I love the way the girls have bought in and played hard every day in practice. I wish we would have been challenged little bit more early on and we know we have some tough teams coming up. But we feel like we can play with them and it's just going to be about the kids continuing to play with that energy and that effort."
The Mustangs will be back in action next Thursday when they travel to take on Nederland.
Dawson School 41, Front Range Christian 17
At Front Range Christian School
DAWSON (9-2, 4-0)
M. Day 1 1-2 3, K. Day 5 2-2 13, Gilio 2 1-2 5, Dunbar 3 0-0 6, Gallop 1 1-2 3, Timms 5 1-1 11, Bravo 0 0-0 0, Walker 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 6-9 41.
FRONT RANGE CHRISTIAN (6-5, 1-3)
Conley 0 1-2 1, Gonzalez 1 3-5 5, Elmer 1 0-0 2, Sloan 0 0-0 0, Wehr 0 0-0 0, Monroe 0 6-6 6, O'Hanlon 0 0-0 0, Hurth 1 1-1 3. Totals 3 11-14 17.
Score by quarters:Dawson 8 13 9 11 — 41
Front Range Christian 2 4 3 8 — 17
3-point field goals — Dawson (1): K. Day. Total fouls — Dawson 15, Front Range Christian 18.