After a disappointing tournament in Sedona, Mingus Union girls basketball bounced back with a win in their region opener.
The Marauders (3-6) beat Prescott 45-36 at home on Tuesday.
“It was pretty good, I think we’ve had an issue where when we come out in the third quarter it’s been low and we’ve been focusing on how to try to change that,” Mingus head coach Paul Ventura said. “We’ve tried a few different things and [Tuesday] we came out in the third quarter and we played pretty well. We had the energy that I’ve been wanting from them. I was afraid that that was going to fall over to the fourth quarter but I thought they did a pretty good job.”
After scoring on two points in the first quarter, the Marauders rallied to take the lead, 10-9 with 1:32 left in the first half. Then they built their lead up to 10 with 5:49 remaining in the game and held on.
“We kept pushing, we didn’t quit, we didn’t quit,” senior guard/ forward Darien Loring said.
Loring led all scorers with 19 points.
Mingus basketball Prescott 121318
On Dec. 11 Mingus Union girls and boys basketball hosted Prescott. The Marauder girls won and the boys lost. VVN/James Kelley
“Overall they played a good game and it was close and I knew it was going to be kinda close but they did a good job,” Ventura said. “We still turned the ball over a little too much, which we’re trying to fix. Still missing some layups, some easy ones and we’re going to work on that, try to fix it but I was happy with how they played.”
Loring said it’s a good start to Grand Canyon play.
“That’s a big thing, that’s something that we had talked about, we’ve been struggling to get some wins in the first few games when playing out of region,” Ventura said. “We wanted to start the region on the right foot, get a win right away.”
The Marauders went 1-3 at the Sedona Pago’s Pizzeria Girls BB Tourney last week, losing to Scottsdale Christian, Show Low and Sedona Red Rock but beating Scottsdale Cicero Prep Academy.
“We didn’t play great,” Ventura said. “The first game that we played is a team that we scrimmaged, which is Scottsdale Christian, and they’re very good, we knew that was going to be tough. We played way better against them this time then we did when we scrimmaged them. Then the next game was against a team that I think it’s their first year as a program, so we beat them pretty easily. The third game was against another pretty talented team but we didn’t play our best game, we should have probably beat them and then we played an inexperienced Sedona team in the last game and we really should have won that and we didn’t play our best basketball.”
Sedona Red Rock finished second in the 2A last year but lost the 2A coach of the year, Mingus Union teacher and cross country coach Dave Moncibaez, and the 2A Central player of the year Liza Westervelt.
Sophomore Yazmein Mestas also hurt her ankle in Sedona. She is expected to be out through the Christmas break.
“So it wasn’t what we expected, it wasn’t what we wanted,” Ventura said. “I can take the first loss against Scottsdale Christian because right now they’re a more talented team than us but the other teams we definitely should have beat so I was a little bit disappointed but so were the kids, they were all disappointed to. It was good for us, we got four games in, some girls got to play a little bit more.”