The Minarets High School girls basketball team (14-4, 4-1 West Sequoia League) continued their winning ways as they posted wins against Riverdale and Fresno Christian last week.
Riverdale (6-10, 2-3 WSL) visited Minarets Jan. 26, in hopes of climbing back into the league race with a win.
Those hopes didn’t last long as Minarets won 48-39.
Danielle Johnson led all Mustangs with 13 points, 11 in the first period. Kelea Kamalani scored 12, Natalie Chamberlain added eight, Patricia Thomasian six, with Madi Pearson and Delaney Reardon scoring two each.
It was evident early on the Cowboys were going to play a physical game, similar to Caruthers when they upset the Mustangs. The Lady Mustangs went to the free throw line 16 times, converting eight of those shots to points.
The Mustangs were six of 15 from the 3-point arc. On the defensive side of the ball, the team got back to basics, controlling the boards as the Mustangs made 21 offensive rebounds to go with 22 on defense.
Down go the Eagles
The Mustangs traveled to Fresno Christian (4-12, 1-4 WSL) Friday to take on the Eagles, and came home with a 69-33 victory.
Minarets took control from the tipoff and jumped out to a 15-7 first period lead. In the second period the Mustangs put up another 22 points to the Eagles eight, to go up 37-15 at the half.
If the Mustangs are to win against Caruthers, defense will play a large part. Coach Kamalani’s group showed those defensive efforts by holding the Eagles to eight points in the third period.
Kristy Berry scored 17 points and had 14 rebounds. Kamalani also had 17 points. Johnson added 11 points, including two 3-pointers, with her sister Sydney scoring a season high eight points.
Reardon added five points, while Thomasian scored four and Pearson two. The Mustangs hit 15 of 20 from the charity line.
Again the Mustangs dominated on defense with 43 rebounds.
“We got our groove back,” coach Dee Kamalani said. “The girls had a good team win, I was proud of our performance.”
League lead on the line Friday
The Mustangs host Caruthers (14-6, 3-1 WSL) at 7 p.m. Friday with a share of the league title at stake.
The Blue Raiders beat the Mustangs in round one of league play 53-48. This game could prove to be one of the most important in a short history for the Minarets varsity girls program.
In the first meeting Caruthers shut down leading scorer Johnson, limiting her to three points, 10 below her per-game average, as the senior was double-teamed most of the game.
Turnovers and missed put backs cost the Mustangs the win and sole possession of first place.
Minarets is allowing free entrance to children ages 13 and under as Kamalani hopes for a big crowd to showcase the Mustangs style of play.
Coach Kamalani used a heavy rotation in the latest wins in a style that is beginning to pay dividends as the Mustangs enter the second half of league play. Every player is getting several minutes and contributing in points, assist, steals and rebounds.