Mustangs lose to Orosi and Orange Cove

The Minarets boys basketball team, 0-4, are still in search of a winning formula as they dropped two games last week, a 67-37 thumping by Orosi and a 67-41 loss to Orange Cove. The Cardinals, 6-3, took a commanding 37-20 lead going into the half and never looked back, pulling away for the 67-41 win after outscoring the Mustangs 30-21 in the second half. The Mustangs lost 6'4" Mason Ellis to a broken nose and sprained ankle in the contest. Sam Delk was the teams high scorer with 13 points followed by Bubba Ward with 11 and Kaleb Fausone with 9.

Things weren't much better for Coach Paul Varner's team as they started their game against Orange Cove minus Ellis, The Titans jumped out to a 28-10 first quarter lead and extended it going into the break, up 42-16. Ellis played in the game but did not score. The Mustangs played much better in the second half trading baskets with the Titans, while playing a much tighter defense. Minarets was outscored 21-25 in the final half but the game had been decided by the 42 points surrendered in the opening half, Titans 67-37.

Sam Delk scored 9, while Fausone contributed 7 in the loss.

The Mustangs will travel down the hill to Liberty Ranchos to play in the Hawk ClassicDec. 20th. The Hawks are 2-1 and match up well against the Mustangs, with Ellis returning at full strength Varner's club will have a shot if they can Keep their turnovers down and look for more assist in the paint. Delk could be the difference if the Mustangs can get him the ball in the key, the senior is money in the paint and at 6'3" he is hauling in big rebounds.

The Dec 22nd, second round of the Classic will be a tough game against the Firebaugh Eagles. At 8-1 this will be a good test for the Mustangs defense, averaging better then 65 points a contest, while surrendering 48. The Mustangs are averaging 37 points a game, if they are to have a chance against the Eagles they will need to slow the fast break tempo of Firebaugh while working on the high percentage shots.

On a positive note all Mustang players are threats to score, senior Justin Black has very good ball handling skills, sophomore jacob Walker can be counted on the mix it up in the paint, fellow sophomore Brennan Ryan has shown good defensive play and can drive the lane. Ward is the Mustangs leader in assist, always looking for the open man. Junior Wyatt McKee had 4 points against Orosi but more visible on the defensive side of the ball.

Girls team splits games

The Mustangs girls varsity team went 1-1 last week with a 59-20 loss to Orosi and a 49-33 win against Orange Cove.

Against Orosi the Mustangs came out flat in the first half against a tough Cardinal team that pressed the ball much of the entire game. The second half the Mustangs played inspired ball, holding Orosi to 15 points to close out the game. Danielle Johnson and Kalea Kamalani both ended the game with eight points.

Kamalani scored 20 points against Orange Cove, Johnson contributed 14, while sister Sydney Johnson, a freshman, scored five. Senior Madison Meade added 6 points. The Mustangs defense was impressive, out rebounding the ball and forcing turnovers throughout the game.

The Mustangs will get plenty of gym time during the holiday break as they don’t play till the three-day Parlier Tournament that opens Jan. 8. League play begins Jan 16, where the Mustangs will be challenged by league powers Caruthers and Fowler.