As usual, it’s time to ring in the New Year with some notes and quotes from a fun 2005 Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic.

The Mustang Lady Broncos took home Mid-America gold with an impressive run through the tournament that culminated with a 64-51 win over Frontier in an exciting title game Friday night.

It got the bad taste of a fourth-place finish out of head coach Nichole Copeland’s mouth after her team went 1-2 in the 2004 Mid-America Tournament.

The Lady Broncos — a Class 6A juggernaut — took an “us against the field” attitude into this year’s Mid-America. Mustang was the heavy favorite heading into tourney time and Copeland knew many in the huge crowds that flocked into East Central’s Kerr Activity Center would be cheering for the underdog.

“You’re kind of going against the crowd a little bit because everybody wants to see the giant fall. We talked about that,” Copeland said. “It’s good for our kids to face adversity. We haven’t faced that type of adversity yet this year.”

Mustang faced some big-time adversity in the finals in the form of Frontier stud Jenna Plumley. She put on a first-half clinic and finished with a game-high 31 points and kept the Lady Mustangs close for over three quarter. But foul trouble and a stomach virus slowed Plumley down in the end.

The Lady Broncos showed they have an abundance of weapons at their disposal. It all starts with guard Lauren Reel and the sisters Ramon — Lucy and Lacy. But Mustang is so much more than the big three. Players like Jordan Pyle, Kaitlin Ellison, Kasey Tweed and Autumn Foley give the Lady Broncos more quality depth than any team they play.

Dover’s Brad Thrash, who was disappointed with his team’s offensive output during this year’s Mid-America Classic, would actually like his Class B gals to have another shot at the 6A giant. Mustang mauled Dover 69-33 in a Thursday semifinal game.

“They’re drawing from 1500 kids and we’re drawing from 74,” Thrash said of the size mismatch. “They’re good. You always look back on those and say ‘yeah, I’d like to play them again some time.’ I know we can play better. They’re a great defensive team. Defensively they’re just unbelievable.”

And with standout post player Jody Munkres hobbled and in foul trouble, Dover couldn’t slow Mustang down in the second half of the semifinal battle.

“Offensively they’re so big. We didn’t have any margin of error. When Jody got in foul trouble, we were just too small to really play with them,” Thrash said.

Without a doubt, Mustang should be competing for a 6A state title in March. Norman, Edmond Santa Fe, Jenks and Sapulpa beware!

Frontier has to be the favorite to bring home the gold in Class A.

“What team in Class A can compete with them?” asked Copeland.

Not very many.

And Dover fully expects to bring home the Class B gold.

As always, the Mid-America Classic provided area high school basketball fans with plenty of entertainment. Friday night’s fun championship game served as a nice springboard into the rest of the high school hoop season.

Lacy Left Off

As a freshman, Lacy Ramon scored 34 points in three 2004 Mid-America Classic games and failed to earn a spot on the all-tournament team.

I just got over that snub about two weeks ago.

On her return to Kerr Center and the holiday tournament this year, the sensation sophomore scored 32 points and was a key component in Mustang’s run to the title.

And due to the lopsided scores of the first two teams and Mustang’s unbelievable depth, Lacy doesn’t play much more than two and a half quarters per outing.

Obviously points aren’t everything. But Lacy also brings a defensive presence inside and is a matchup nightmare for any opposing player due to her ability to pass the ball, shoot the trey and post you up with her 6-0 frame.

She even suffered a gash over her eye in a first-round game and returned to the floor and never missed a beat — scoring two quick buckets in a rout of Marietta.

Lacy was a shoe-in to make this year’s all-tournament team, right?

Wrong.

She was snubbed again.

What’s a girl gotta do?