The No. 3 seed Minarets girls basketball team (19-5) advanced to the semi finals of the Central Section D-V playoffs with wins last week over No. 14 seed Laton (10-16), and No. 6 Fowler (16-12), 51-32, and 50-37 respectively.
The Mustangs traveled to face the West Sequoia League champions, and No. 2 seed Caruthers Blue Raiders (22-7) last night (March 2).
Scores were not available at press time, but will be posted online here at sierrastar.com. The winner of that game advanced to Friday’s 2 p.m. D-V championship game at Selland Arena in Fresno, playing the winner of the No. 1 seed Memorial and No. 4 seed Kern Valley.
In earlier games against Caruthers this season, Minarets lost twice - 53-48 on Jan. 15, and 63-32 on Feb. 5.
In the second game against Caruthers, the Mustangs shot 22% from the perimeter and 11% from behind the arc, both season lows, while all 11 players scored for Caruthers.
Against the Laton Mustangs, senior Natalie Chamberlain hit 5 of-7 3-pointers to lead her team with 18 points. Guard Danielle Johnson scored 13, Patricia Thomasian eight, Kelea Kamalani six, Kristy Berry four, Ellery Meade two, and Madi Pearson one. Berry had eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
The Mustangs beat Fowler for the fifth time this season.
The Mustangs held a comfortable 24-15 lead at the break but the Redcats came out motivated in the third quarter to cut the lead to four points (32-28). But in the fourth period, Minarets outscored Fowler 18-9.
“Being the fifth time playing Fowler, we knew it was going to be a physical game, and through the season we could see improvement in them every time we played them,” said Coach Dee Kamalani. “They got in foul trouble and our girls stepped up and made clutch free throws when they needed to go along with some great defense.”
Three Mustangs scored in double figures - Berry (12), Kamalani (11), and Thomasian (10). Chamberlain added eight, including one 3-pointer. Danielle Johnson added seven and sister Sydney one. It was a different game offensively for the Mustangs with only four attempts from the 3-point line.
Berry was solid inside, collecting 23 rebounds, 17 on defense as the Mustangs hauled down 52 rebounds in the game.