Lady Mustangs end season with 53-32 loss to No. 2 seed

The No. 15 seed Minarets girls basketball (19-7) team’s season ended March 9, with a 53-32 loss to No. 2 seed Mission Prep Catholic High School (22-9) in the opening round of the D-V CIF Southern California Regionals of the state tournament.

The Royals hosted the game in San Luis Obispo.

The Mustangs had a bad shooting night, connecting on just 14 of 50 shots from the field (28%), while unable to contain Mission Prep’s top two scorers, Jacqueline San Julea, and Noelle Laird, who combined for 27 points.

For Minarets, senior Patricia Thomasian led the way with nine points, followed by senior Danielle Johnson with seven, junior Kristy Berry with six, and senior Kelea Kamalani with five.

Mission Prep had a well balanced squad that was averaging 42 points a game compared to the Mustangs 46, but Minarets had been struggling as the season came to a close putting points on the board.

In the simi-finals of the D-V Central Section playoffs against the Caruthers Blue Raiders, Minarets started the game well, but had several minutes of shooting cold spells, eventually removing themselves from the game early in the third quarter. Caruthers won the game 45-24.

The same could be said for the game against the Royals, with the Mustangs falling behind in the first quarter 15-11. Like the Caruthers game, the Mustangs could not handle the Royals pressure defense, making numerous turnovers, combined with poor shot selection, put Minarets in a deep hole early.

The Mustangs scored only two points in the second quarter, going to the half trailing 26-13.

It was much of the same in the third period as the Mustangs came out from the break scoring just eight points in the third period, with Mission Prep building a 42-21 lead. Both teams scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to end the game, with Mission Prep getting the 53-32 win.

The loss ended the most successful season on record for the young school.

Patricia Thomasian led the Mustangs with eight points, Danielle Johnson scored 7, Kristy Berry 6, Kalea Kamalani 5, Natalie Chamberlain 2, and Madi Pearson 2.

This year’s Mustang team had six seniors that had been playing together for the better part of eight years. Left to lead the Mustangs next year will be seniors Berry and Ellery Meade, two of the team’s most improved players over the last two seasons.