SEDONA — Mingus Union boys basketball rebounded from a season opening loss to post a three game win streak.
The Marauders (3-2) opened the Red Rock Hoops Classic at Sedona Red Rock by going 2-1 on Friday.
“The whole point of the tournament is to get better and so that’s really our goal here, to improve as a team I think defensively we’re a little ahead of where we’re been the last couple years at this time,” said Mingus head coach Dave Beery. “I think offensively we’re definitely behind where I want us to be (laughs), so we’ve got to do a little better job of executing on offense, we got a lot of easy ones on transition but outside of that we had a hard time scoring and so we have to be able to score a little bit better in the half court.”
The Marauders beat Snowflake 54-30 in the morning in the opening game of the tournament. Then they defeated Bradshaw Mountain 39-31 in the afternoon, before dropping the final game of pool play 51-38 to Lakeside Blue Ridge on Friday night.
Blue Ridge won the pool by going 3-0, Mingus Union was second, Snowflake was 1-2 and was third and Bradshaw Mountain was winless.
The tournament is eight teams divided up into four team pools. Sedona Red Rock, Winslow, Coconino and Prescott made up the other pool.
In Pool A, Sedona Red Rock, Winslow and Coconino all went 2-1 and Prescott went 0-3.
Playing three games in one day could present a problem for some teams, especially ones that run and press like Mingus Union, but they’re also deep.
“We got up and down the court a lot, our guys played a lot of pressure defense, so I think it is taxing on some of them, but we’re also deep enough that I think we can get away with it more than some teams,” Beery said. “There’s some guys that didn’t show up (Friday) quite frankly, that I was counting on to do a little bit more and so a few guys we need to figure out exactly what their role or their niche is going to be so we’re a little bit more efficient.”
Before the tournament, Mingus Union bounced back from their season opening loss at home to Dysart to beat Cactus on the road 74-63.
“It was a step in the right direction,” Beery said. “Obviously we want to win, a win is a win, there were a lot of things we did horribly that game that we needed to improve on, rebounding and just decision making down the stretch. We had a lead with three or four minutes left and we’re taking bad shots and fouling them 60 feet from the hoop and giving them free throws.”
Beery said Cactus was cold.
“If they ended up hitting a few outside shots then it would’ve been a very interesting game,” Beery said. “We kinda got lucky, we dodged one there, so we were a lot better at that (Friday), in the Bradshaw game especially, we had to protect a lead late and we really worked hard and did a really good job at it overall, so that’s good to see, I think we improved a little bit in that area, which is kinda cool.”
Beery wasn’t sure who the Marauders would play in the quarterfinals of the tournament with that logjam atop the other pool but he said their game at Mohave on Monday was more important anyway. Unlike the tournament, it counts for the state tournament’s selection and it beings region play for the Marauders.
Their next home game is Dec. 15 against Bradshaw Mountain.
“Monday’s a lot more important than (Saturday) is for us because that one counts towards qualifying for State and that’s what our goal is,” Beery said. “That being said, these guys are competitive, I’m competitive, we want to come out and win but we need to be a little bit more disciplined on offense, the biggest take away I have from the last game at least.”