One thing was learned by the Princess Margaret’s senior boys basketball team during Mustang Mania. They have the ability to close out games.
The Mustangs opened their home tournament last weekend with a 64-32 win against the Vernon Secondary Panthers, and finished with a 57-52 win in overtime against the Elphinstone Secondary School Cougars. That earned them a third-place finish.
Mustangs coach Brian Hurst said Mauro Patterson led the team with defensive pressure, while Jas Sahota and Gary Chahal provided offense.
“It was great to see the depth in our team, as all team members made a positive impact,” said Hurst. “Great rebounding and defensive pressure from Justin and Jarret Cantelon. Mitch Brodt made some great drives to the hoop along with timely shooting. Ravan Klar knocked down shots when left open.”
Russ Manning will be looked upon by Hurst for strong inside play.
Going into the tournament, Hurst wanted to see his players get into competitive games. He also wanted to see defensive intensity and good spacing on the court.
After defeating the Panthers in their opening game, the Mustangs lost to the Immaculata Mustangs 78-67 in overtime. In that loss, Harman Randhawa and Sanam Klar were strong at the three-point line and finished with 13 points each. What impressed Hurst was how each player found a way to make a contribution.
“It was an exciting weekend of basketball with three games going to overtime, and Maggie being involved in two of those games,” said Hurst, who was without the services of Amit Grewal, currently recovering from a knee injury.
In the final, Kelowna Christian beat Immaculata 72-56.
With their season starting on Dec. 10 hosting the South Okanagan Secondary School Hornets at 6:45 p.m., Hurst said the Mustangs have a strong core returning with provincials experience. They also have juniors that won the Valley championship.
Hurst expects his team to face tough opponents in the South Central Zone, which he considers to be strong. The winner of the zone will earn the right to host the Valley championship this season.
“That would definitely be one of the goals that we are striving for as well as a berth to provincials,” he said.
On their calendar is a trip to GW Graham in Chillwack for the AA Showcase tournament Dec. 13 to 15. The Mustangs will see some of the top AA teams in B.C.
“This will be a good gauge of where we stand before Christmas,” added Hurst.
The Mustangs played their first game yesterday as the Kelowna Secondary School Owls hosted a tournament. Coach Dan Van Os is using the tournament to learn his team’s strength’s and weaknesses, while giving players experience.
“We play four games. It will be a good test to see strong teams in the valley,” said Van Os.
The expectation is to be one of the top two teams in the valley and then be among three to advance to provincials.
Van Os likes how the team is built, strengthened by seven returning players. They also added Danielle Ruocco from Keremeos. Van Os said his team will possess speed and a high skill level. He plans to utilize that to play a fast-break style with solid pressure on defence.