Mingus girls basketball splits first two games

Mingus junior Darien Loring saves the ball during the Marauders’ 57-35 loss to Cactus on Tuesday night at home. (James Kelley/VVN)

Mingus junior Darien Loring saves the ball during the Marauders’ 57-35 loss to Cactus on Tuesday night at home. (James Kelley/VVN)

Mingus Union girls basketball split its first two games of the season, showing promise.

The Marauders (1-1) lost their home opener 57-35 to Glendale Cactus (3-1) on Tuesday night.

Mingus Union played the Cobras close early on but faltered after halftime.

“First half I thought we played well, down by eight, they’re a very good team, a very good team,” said Mingus head coach

Frank Nevarez. “We ended up with seven turnovers in the first half. We had a total of 26 in the game and all of them were in the third quarter. So third quarter is really where we lost the game, we didn’t run our offense, we are supposed to be pressing, we never pressed. So we just lost focus and we came back and did a little bit better fourth quarter, the third quarter really, really hurt us.”

However, the Marauders rebounded in the fourth quarter and as the frustrated Cobras earned technical fouls and scolding from their coach during a time out.

Mingus Union switched to a 2-3 zone from man to man defense after the Cactus center shined. She’s receiving attention from college basketball teams.

“We had a discussion right after third quarter and we said ‘okay guys, what are we made out of? And so let’s go out there an win the fourth quarter,” Nevarez said. “I don’t know if we did or not, but we played much, much better.”

The 4A Cobra’s lone loss was to 5A Centennial and last season they made it to the state quarterfinals, falling to Coconino.

“They’re a good team I was proud of our girls,” Nevarez said. “I thought the girls did well, we fought, played hard and we just lost focus third quarter.”

Led by senior center Trina Honwytewa and junior forward Summer Scott, the Marauders beat Dysart 51-22 on the road to open the season.

“We did very well,” Nevarez said. “We hit on all cylinders. Our offense played well, our defense played extremely well. We ran the plays, our guards, our center Trina had a great game. Summer, one of my forwards, had a great game, so we played well the first game.”

This weekend they travel to the Red Rock Classic at Sedona Red Rock. On Friday they face Mesa Westwood at 11:30 a.m., then Tuba City Greyhills Academy at 6:30 p.m. and then Snowflake at 8:50 p.m.

Their next home game is on Dec. 6 when they host Winslow.

Nevarez said opening with a win on the road is great for them.

“Like I just told the girls ‘this is only the second game, we saw a lot of positive things in this game other than the third quarter, that’s what we want to build on,” Nevarez said.

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