Down by a dozen points at halftime against the Oliver Hornets, the Princess Margaret Mustangs senior girls basketball team learned a valuable lesson Wednesday.
“Do not underestimate your opponent,” said Mustang Kari-Grace Pym, adding that they came into the game with the wrong mindset having beat the Hornets twice before. “It’s just Oliver so we were taking it easy I think. We saw what they are really made of. They came out really wanting it.”
The Mustangs pulled it out 58-56 as they outscored the visitors 16-7 in the fourth quarter. The Hornets were led by Navneet Mann with 19 points, including four baskets from beyond the three-point line and Netu Dhaliwal with 13 points.
“This is a good result for us,” said Mustangs coach Dave Killick. “Now the girls know that we cannot take this team lightly. They really improved. We will have to be ready to play next week.”
The importance of Wednesday nights win gave the Mustangs first in the Okanagan AA South league. It also earned them the right to host the South Zone championship against the Hornets next Wednesday at 5 p.m.
“I’d rather play them in our barn then have to go and play them in their gym,” said Killick, adding that the Hornets played fantastic and making shots from the outside.
The Mustangs were led by Callan Cooper who scored 15 points to go with 15 rebounds. Abby Winstone scored 14 points by dominating in the paint and Brooklyn Pichette had a solid game according to Killick with eight points and seven rebounds. Rylee McKinlay had seven points and 10 rebounds while Pym led with 18 rebounds.
Following a hard weekend that saw them lose in the final of Mustang Mania and two hard practices, Pym said they were mentally exhausted and not prepared for Wednesday.
“It took us a while to get into our groove but we got it together at halftime,” she said. “We really pulled it together as a team. I’m glad we kept it together.”
Killick said his group gutted it out and just never gave up.
“They showed a reasonable amount of poise down the stretch under pressure,” he said.