The Minarets High Mustangs girls basketball team (2-7), played in the Parlier Invitational Tournament Jan. 5 and 6, losing to Parlier 32-24 and Laton 52-25 before beating Avenal 31-25.
The varsity squad consists of one senior, one junior, one sophomore and eight freshman. After some tough defeats against the likes of much larger and more experienced teams like Mariposa Grizzlies (48-12), Liberty Hawks (55-14) and the Immanuel Eagles (45-4), the team is learning how to play against bigger opponents. Often outsized and playing much more experienced squads, the team concentrates on playing one quarter at a time, always looking to improve.
Playing with a team consisting of primarily freshman, the Lady Mustangs started the season getting its first tournament championship at the Liberty JV Invitational Tournament.
In the win against Avenal, freshman Kelea Kamalani lead the team in scoring with eight with freshman Patricia Thomasian adding six.
The team's win against Avenal was its last tune up before West Sequoia League play opens in Fowler on Jan. 15.
Although the team is young, each player is capable of scoring from inside the paint, while they have a few that will drive the lane. The team is still searching for an outside shooter and has struggled from the free throw line, which has cost them a couple close games that they led late in the closing minutes.
Coach Jean Ann Ward believes her young team will surprise a couple teams throughout the season but is sure they will battle to the end of each game with their sights set on improving game after game.