The Minarets Mustangs girls basketball team (17-5, 8-2 West Sequoia League), coming off their best season in school history, ended with wins last week against the Riverdale Cowboys and the Fresno Christian Eagles.
The Mustangs started with a 60-35 win against Riverdale (7-13, 3-6 WSL), jumping out to a 19-11 first period score, and adding another 20 points in the second quarter to go up 39-22 at the half.
Coach Dee Kamalani emptied her bench and rotated heavily in the second half as the Mustangs cruised to the win.
Patricia Thomasian scored a season high 15 points in the game, while Kristy Berry contributed 12 and Kelea Kamalani 11. Danielle Johnson scored six and Madi Pearson added two points.
The Mustangs were 7 of 9 from the free throw line and controlled the boards with 34 rebounds. Berry hauled down 17 rebounds while blocking three shots. The team recorded 14 assists as they found the open shooter time and time again in the victory.
Clearly overmatched, Fresno Christian came into the game on a rebuilding year, starting four freshman. The Mustangs dominated from the tipoff, easily beating the Eagles 49-25.
Johnson led all scorers with 11 points, Berry and Thomasian each added eight points, with Kamalani scoring six. Delaney Reardon and Ellery Meade had four a piece, Madi Pearson added two along with Sydney Johnson. The Mustangs controlled the boards as well with 32 rebounds along with five blocked shots and eight deflections.
Coach Kamalani rewarded her junior varsity players invited up for the Mustangs playoff run. She emptied the bench early and gave all of the younger players a taste of the game at the varsity level, as each member scored.
The Mustangs received the No. 3 seed in the CIF D-V Central Section playoffs and played the No. 14 seed Laton Mustangs (10-14) Wednesday. Scores were not available at press time but will be posted on the website here at www.sierrastar.com .
The Mustangs should reach the second round with ease, and face the winner of the No. 6 seed Fowler, and No. 11 seed Farmersville Friday in the quarter finals. Minarets has beaten Fowler three times this season and should continue on to the semi finals on March 1, in which they will most likely face the No. 2 seed Blue Raiders of Caruthers.
The Blue Raiders seem to have the Mustangs at a disadvantage. Just as the Mustangs have beaten Fowler, Caruthers has had their way with the Mustangs, winning by five in Caruthers and running away with a 60-35 win on the Mustangs home court.
Kamalani has been preparing her team for playoffs from game one as she developed each player on the floor as well as the bench, substituting heavily in nearly every Mustangs game.