The Minarets Mustangs boys basketball team (8-13, 4-4 West Sequoia League), got two wins last week including a 67-60 win against the Fowler, avenging a 59-48 loss Jan. 15. This time around the Mustangs controlled the pace from the tip off. In the opening period the Mustangs put up 19 points, one of their best offensive outputs in an opening period on the season.
Mustang senior Mason Ellis brought the crowd to its feet with a two handed slam dunk before the teams went into halftime tied at 32-32.
The Mustangs put the game away in the third quarter out scoring the Redcats 18-6 for a 50-38 lead going into the fourth quarter. Fowler would pull within seven points as the game concluded.
Ellis scored 28 points and had 26 rebounds on the evening. Micah Mosier hit four 3-pointers while scoring 14 points, and Kaleb Fausone added 11. The Mustangs collected 49 rebounds on the game, 21 on offense, resulting in easy conversions under the rim.
“Our win over Fowler was a complete team effort,” Coach Paul Varner said. “The games turned in the third quarter with our team giving up just six points. I am proud of how the team is playing its best basketball of the season as the season winds down.”
Ellis has double-double against Parlier
On Feb. 12, the Mustangs traveled to Parlier (5-13, 2-6 WSL) looking for its first back to back win of the season. Minarets had beaten the Panthers 55-48 in round one of league play.
Again it was Ellis that made the difference, scoring a season high 32 points in the Mustang’s 50-43 win. Ellis was a one man wrecking crew as he shot 15 of 24 from the field, collected 16 rebounds, and blocked three shots on the evening. Minarets blocked 11 Panther shots in the game.
Ellis came within one basket of tying the school’s single game scoring record of 34 by Conly Biglione.
Caanine Fausone added 10 points (404 from free throw line). Freshman Preston Conti also scored 32 in the junior varsity game against Fowler.
At 4-4 in league play, the Mustangs will need wins over of Riverdale and Fresno Christian this week to make an argument for a trip to the D-V Centrtal Section playoffs. The team is playing its best ball of the year, and it has a good chance at making a deep run in the play-offs.
Maxpreps.com has the team ranked at No. 11 in D-V, with a 61-60 win over No. 2 Tranquillity.
It was a 61-51 win for Riverdale in the teams last meeting - a game the Mustangs should have won if players did a better job of converting shots at the free throw line. But with the latest power surge from Ellis the Mustangs can tip the scales in their favor if they keep turnovers to a minimum.
At 5-19, Fresno Christian should be a win for the Mustangs in its final game in league play. Minarets beat the Eagles 77-64 in round one of league play.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Jan. 18.