Mullen scored the last seven points on Tuesday to defeat North Platte St. Pat’s, 52-49, at the McGahan Activities Center.
With 3:35 left in the game, Corby Condon converted on a runner to give St. Pat’s (9-4) a 49-45 lead.
That was when Mullen (10-2) began their comeback. Clayton Moore made a three-pointer from the left arc after receiving a behind the back pass from Brendon Walker. Walker then gave the Broncos the lead when he hit a jump shot from 15 feet along the baseline on the right side with just under three minutes left.
The score remained 50-49 until 13 seconds left when Trevor Kuncl made a pair of free throws to put Mullen up by three.
The Irish had a chance to tie the game when Jack Heiss launched a three from the left side in the closing seconds. But his shot was no good. Alex Davies got the rebound for St. Pat’s but there was nothing he could do to change the outcome.
“They made two or three really good plays there,” St. Pat’s coach Bill O’Malley said. “We got a couple shots but we couldn’t make good on them.”
The game began with Jaden Emerson scoring the first basket for the Broncos. The Irish then scored the next seven points to establish themselves.
St. Pat’s led 13-7 at the end of the first quarter. But Mullen took the lead at 17-15 after Emerson made a three from the left corner to follow a pair of baskets by Moore. Kuncl then made another one from beyond the arc to make it a five-point game.
“I thought throughout (Mullen) shot the ball well,” O’Malley said. “They’ve got four guys who are pretty good off the dribble and if they’re hitting jump shots, they’re awfully hard to guard.”
The Broncos led 25-22 at halftime and in the third quarter, they went up by nine. But the Irish stormed back and took the lead at 39-38 with a minute left in the third after back-to-back treys by Condon.
Both teams battled from there until Mullen made their final push to win the game.
“We were able to get out in transition and I thought we rebounded well, keeping the ball alive on our offensive glass,” O’Malley said. “We did a number of things well. Unfortunately, we didn’t do enough of them to win.”
Next, St. Pat’s will host Overton (1-10) on Friday.