SUTTON — Sutton boys basketball coach Steve Spongberg has coached his fair share of basketball games to understand the strengths of his players. And he knew that the best chance his team had of downing cross-county rival Sandy Creek during their matchup Thursday night was to slow the pace down and completely change the style of his opponent's play.
Through the first eight minutes, that was not the case.
But the Class C-2 No. 1 Mustangs (16-1) applied the breaks to Sandy Creek's up-tempo style of play in the final three quarters en route to notching their ninth straight win, posting a 48-35 victory over the Cougars in front of a near-capacity crowd at the Sutton gymnasium.
"We weren't going to win the game if we kept that pace that we were playing at in the first quarter," Sutton coach Steve Spongberg said. "The kids really dug in defensively after the first quarter. We were fortunate to get some steals, hit our free throws, knock down some baskets and start to build a lead after that."