The Minarets Mustangs basketball team (1-3) took part in the Golden Bear Tip Off basketball tournament hosted by Sierra Pacific in Hanford last week, losing three games.
First up for the Mustangs was the host team, the Golden Bears, a team the Mustangs have yet to beat. The Mustangs trailed by 6 points after 8 minutes of play at 16-10, but rallied in the second quarter to go to the break down by just one point - 22-21.
That’s as close as they would get, though, as the Golden Bears scored 21 points in the third to take a 43-33 lead and go on to win 59-48.
Grant Denny and Jakob Backmann scored 14 points each to lead the Mustangs, with Christian Conti adding 10.
Denny did his part on defense recording four blocked shots. The Mustangs were only 1 of 10 from behind the arc and converted 9 of 21 attempts at the free throw line.
In its second game in the tourney, the Mustangs outscored the Firebaugh Eagles in three of the four quarters, but lost 48-43.
The Eagles were a better match up on paper for the Mustangs, but in the deciding second period, Minarets surrendered 24 points to go to the half trailing 33-25.
The Mustangs’ final game in the tournament was an old foe - the Riverdale Cowboys. The Mustangs jumped out to a 20-10 lead after the first quarter and went to the break with a 28-21 lead, but the Cowboys dominated play in the third period, outscoring Minarets 19-4 to take a 40-32 lead going into the final period.
Minarets outscored the Cowboys 14-8 in the final period but it wasn’t enough as they came up two points shy, falling 48-46. These two teams will square off two more times this season with the Cowboys playing in the West Sequoia League.
Up next for the Mustangs is a non conference game against Orosi. The Cardinals are 1-2 with a win against Woodlake and losses against Lindsay and Santa Maria. The two teams match up well on paper with both teams averaging 47 points a game. The Mustangs will need to spread the ball around as they did in their first win against Woodlake. Eight players broke into the scoring column against the Tigers.
Mariposa will visit Minarets Dec. 12 with tip off scheduled for 7 p.m..