Mingus Union boys basketball debuted its new more aggressive style on Friday at home.
The Marauders played Page in a scrimmage and though they didn’t keep score on the scoreboard, likely won.
“It looked like a scrimmage,” said Mingus head coach Dave Beery. “We’re trying to get some more information on who’s ready and who’s not. We got a few answers and probably need a few more (laughs). I thought after we kinda calmed down we did a pretty good job executing our press.”
Page made it to the second round of the 3A tournament last year, losing by a point to Ganado, who made the final four. The Sand Devils went 18-9, 7-3 in the 3A North, finishing second.
However, they lost seven seniors from that squad.
“Our guys got to remember too that that guys we’re playing against were young, a lot of those guys were freshmen and sophomores and we’re pretty senior heavy, so we’re supposed to turn them over a lot, which we did but on the other hand I wasn’t terribly pleased but I’m not really disappointed,” Beery said.
The scrimmage was supposed to be of the four-way variety, but Casteel, Scottsdale Prep and Tuba City backed out, making it just Marauders against Sand Devils.
“We did pretty good, we were really good at passing the ball, working as a team,” said senior forward Alex Figy. “We’re starting to get line ups figured out but we’re doing good overall.”
Figy was a fan of the new more aggressive style the Marauders have deployed.
“I like it, we play hard, we get better everyday, it’s fun, it’s fun,” Figy said.
The Marauders open the season on Tuesday night when they host Dysart at 7 p.m.
The scrimmage was Mingus Union’s first chance to utilize the increased accountability that a deeper squad offers.
“We’re deep enough that if a guy’s hanging his head or questioning the official or something like that we can plug somebody else in, so it’s nice to have that luxury to hold guys a little more accountable for their actions,” Beery said.
With more new additions than normal, Beery said this year’s scrimmage was more important than normal.
“We really need to find who we are as a team, like what our strengths and weaknesses are so these scrimmages are really good for us,” Figy said.
Figy thought the new players added a lot to the team, passing and rebounding really well.
The Marauders have nine seniors this season after ending last year with four juniors.
“I think we’re going to be pretty good,” Figy said. “Last year’s team was average, this we have some good athletes, work good together, so I think we’re going to be pretty good.”
Beery isn’t quite sure how this year’s team’s progress compares to previous year’s.
“It’s always tough before the first game,” Beery said. “I always feel like we’re behind where I want us to be but (laughs) having said that, we’re probably where we usually are not, behind where I want us to be but realistically I think we’re doing okay. We got guys that are old enough that even when they aren’t totally understanding what they’re supposed to do that they’re old enough, mature enough to make pretty good decisions.”