The Minarets Mustangs basketball team (8-7, 2-2 WSL), won their 8th game in an overtime 42-41 league victory against the Parlier Panthers (6-12, 2-1) Jan. 22.
The Mustangs went to the half up 20-18 and played a great second half despite loosing point guard Albert Ellis to a severe knee injury. The Mustangs had their chances to end the game in regulation with several attempts in the closing seconds but the ball just wouldn't drop. Minarets out scored the Parlier 10-7 in the fourth period and 6-5 in the five minute overtime period.
Last Friday the Mustangs found themselves playing for a share of first place in the West Sequoia League standings, hosting the Caruthers Blue Raiders (4-6, 4-0). Althought the Blue Raiders beat the Mustangs 81-67, the game was much closer than the score indicated, as the Mustangs jumped out to a 23-17 first quarter lead and were up 37-33 at half.
The Blue Raiders scored eight unanswered points to start the fourth period and the Mustangs were not able close the gap.
The Blue Raiders Gursavak Gill led all scorers with 26 and Jr. Kushir Thind added another 24.
The Mustangs out rebounded the much taller Caruthers team 39 to 33 but found themselves a bit short on the bench with the injury to Ellis, and the absence of center Craig Talbot. The Mustangs suited up six players.
Each player contributed points with Austin Pemintel scoring 21 including four 3-pointers. Conly Biglione added 16, and junior Sam Millar, better known for his shot blocking this season, added 10 points.Fellow junior Bo Campbell led the team in rebounds (11) while taking over in the third quarter of play with eight points after Pimentel was forced to the bench in foul trouble. Ben Nelson added five, including a 3-pointer, while freshman Mason Ellis contributed seven points.
The Mustangs played the Riverdale Cowboys (4-12, 1-3) Tuesday. The last time the two teams met was in the first round of the sectional playoffs last year as the Cowboys ended the season for the Mustangs.
This year's Mustang team, under first year coach Paul Varner, is well balanced and could go deep in the playoffs if not play for the league title. When team's focus on Pimentel (averaging 19 points a game), Campbell hurts them -- contain Campbell, which is not easily done, and Conly Biglione, Millar, or Talbot can take over.
Junior 6-foot-4 Connor Reid has joined the squad to help out on the boards and give the starters a bit of a rest in place of the injured Ellis.
Friday the Mustangs host the Fowler Red Cats (5-12, 2-2), as they try to avenge a 60-48 loss in their league opener. Tip off is 7:30 p.m.
West Sequoia League Standings