Erasing an 11-point deficit helped the Princess Margaret Mustangs win Mustang Mania, their host tournament.
The junior girls basketball team earned wins against Summerland, Aberdeen Prep and Okanagan Mission over the weekend.
Mustangs coach Dan Van Os watched as his group overcame a 27-16 deficit at half to dump the Okanagan Mission Huskies 49-40 in the championship game.
“What impressed me most about this weekend was the improvement everyone demonstrated from last weekend and the determination to overcome an 11-point halftime deficit to beat OKM in the final,” said Van Os.
The Mustangs coach said the team played well with the focus being to develop and improve. Van Os has worked on offensive systems and said his players were able to execute, as well as maintaining pressure on the defence.
“We also saw some zone defence this weekend that we have not played against and it was good to work on some concepts to break a zone,” he said.
Standing out for the Mustangs were captains Madison Winter, Shayla Hearne and Callan Cooper, who provided excellent leadership and strong play.
Cooper said she thought they played pretty well. A contributing factor to that was the Mustang players’ strong bond and that they understand each other.
“The first two games we won by a lot. Okanagan Mission was more of a challenge,” she said.
Cooper said in the second half they did a better job of being near the opposition, whereas before, they didn’t let the Huskies go where they wanted.
This season’s goal for the Mustangs is to work hard, improve in skill development and understand the game, and have fun while challenging for a spot in the Valley Championship.
The Mustangs senior boys basketball team took third place in a Rutland tournament during the weekend. The Mustangs faced the hosts on Friday losing 65-58. Coach Russ Reid said his team might have allowed a 103-60 league victory against Summerland that week to influence their play.
“After the game we discussed focusing on the present game and not letting the past dictate how we will play,” he said.
The discussion worked. The Mustangs rolled over Vernon 104-40. In their final game, the Mustangs played West Vancouver, a big, physical team and won 67-59.
“I think we proved to ourselves if we stick to our game plan we will be a competitive team,” said Mustangs assistant coach Brain Hurst.
Mauro Patterson, Eniola Obefami and Brayden Hearne earned player of the game honours. Jarret and Justin Cantelon as well as Harman Randhawa had strong defensive games for the Mustangs.