The Princess Margaret Mustangs senior boys basketball team won two of three during Mustang Mania on the weekend.
The Mustangs opened against Valleyview, ranked sixth in B.C. and won 58-51. The Mustangs galloped to a hot start nailing five three-pointers in the first quarter led by Prabh Chahal, who finished with 13 points. The Mustangs had a 26-18 lead at the half. Valleyview came out strong in the second half and grabbed a fourth-quarter lead, but strong work on the boards and shooting from Kohl Linder brought the Mustangs back in front for good.
“We wanted to win this one as a statement game going into (the Fraser Valley tournament) because we need to beat these guys to get to provincials,” said Chahal after the win. “We thought we had it and I guess we were getting fatigued. They came out with more energy towards the half because they wanted to get the lead, we kind of let it slip away, but we got our energy back. We got more invested towards the end and wanted to score more and just attack more.”
The Mustangs then faced the Fulton Maroons from Vernon. The night before, Valleyview knocked off Fulton 50-44. However, the Maroons shot better to make the game close for three quarters before going on an 11-0 run with strong defence and capitalizing on Mustang turnovers to win 70-56.
Daman Sarwara brought some good defensive energy off the bench and hit two three-point shots. Gawk Klar had a strong all-round game and chipped in eight points.
In their final game, the Mustangs took on cross town rival Pen High and won 78-40. Heading into the match, the Lakers were 2-0 having defeated Similkameen 60-47 and Kalamalka 77-37. Colton Van Camp led the Mustangs with 23 points, including 15 points drained from the three-point mark. Jacob Winstone created extra shot opportunities with 14 rebounds and three steals. The Lakers were led by Jacob Stoker with 11 points. The two teams will meet again on Feb. 16 at Pen High for a challenge match.
Mustangs fight through injuries
The Princess Margaret Mustangs played four games in 32 hours with eight healthy players at the York House 26th Street tournament in Vancouver.
The result was one win.
The Mustangs, ranked ninth, opened against host York House Tigers (honourable mention in provincial rankings) and were led by 22-point efforts by Danielle Ruocco and Megan Admussen-Blair in a 65–46 victory. Taylor Corrie chipped in 12 points while Jaquelyn Ford was a strong presence at both ends.
Against the No. 4- ranked Notre Dame Jugglers, the Mustangs trailed by one point at half-time, then allowed the Jugglers to start the second half on a 9-0 run that they couldn’t recover from falling 61–50. Admussen-Blair led with 16 points while Ruocco knocked down 11 and Corrie chipped in nine.
Next up was Seycove, ranked 10th. Trailing in the third, the Mustangs went on a 12–0 run to open an eight-point lead before allowing the Seahawks to have their own 16-point run to fall 51–41. Ruocco led with 16 points while Corrie and Admussen-Blair each contributed 11.
The final defeat was 80-67 at the hands of the Rick Hansen Hurricanes. The Mustangs dug deep and showed great determination as they scored 33 points in the third quarter, including six from three-point land to close within two of the lead. Reiley Terbasket helped spark the comeback scoring all nine of her points in the third on three-point shots. Ruocco had another strong performance with 22 points and tournament all-star Admussen-Blair knocked down 21.
“With seven of the top 10 ranked teams in the province, it was an opportunity to see if they could compete with the top teams,” said Mustangs coach Dave Killick.
The weekend before, the Mustangs competed in the Kelowna Secondary School Best of the West tournament winning two of three. Ruocco led with 21 points in a 65-28 win over the Salmon Arm Jewels. Player of the game Megan Admussen-Blair collected a massive double-double with 18 points and 22 rebounds. The Mustangs then faced the Panthers and lost 65-53. Terbasket led with 19 points.
The Mustangs final game was a 91-38 pounding against Saskatchewan’s Sheldon Williams Collegiate. Four girls scored 15 or more points including Taylor Corrie who added 10 rebounds. The post connection of Shinaaz Johal and Haley Lehr combined for 11 points and 19 rebounds.
The Mustangs’ next action will be in two weeks when they compete in the Okanagan Valley Championships hoping to capture one of three berths to the provincial championships. The Mustangs are currently ranked third in the valley behind the Immaculata Mustangs, No. 2, and the Vernon Panthers, No. 7.