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Wed, Feb. 26

Turnovers costly for Mingus Union girls basketball

Mingus senior Dylan Sweeney blocks a shot during the Marauders’ 40-27 loss at home on Friday night to Lee Williams. VVN/James Kelley

Mingus senior Dylan Sweeney blocks a shot during the Marauders’ 40-27 loss at home on Friday night to Lee Williams. VVN/James Kelley

Mingus Union girls basketball’s promising start on Friday night was undone by turnovers.

The No. 44 Marauders (0-14, 0-6) lost 40-27 to No. 30 Lee Williams.

“We had 31 turnovers and that’s been a big issue for us,” Mingus head coach Paul Ventura said. “We talk about three things, just three things to handle practice to practice, game to game, one of them has been lowering turnovers, one of them has been making makeable shots, so lay ups, foul shots, the ones that we should be putting in, making those and then playing with some effort and some heart, passion. So (Friday) night we had those 31 turnovers and pretty much give them a win.”

For LW, it was their second win a row.

“Well it was a defensive battle for both teams (laughs),” said Lady Vols head coach Jerry Arave. “We only scored like six points each the first quarter, but then both teams kinda loosened up. I think our pressure defense was really, really good, we forced a lot of turnovers and I think that was the difference in the game.”

The Marauders jumped ahead 5-0 to open the game but Lady Vols cut that lead to one by the time the first quarter ended.

“This has kind of been our MO, against teams that we match up well with, we start really well,” Ventura said. “Pretty much all season has been pretty good. Second quarter it dips a little bit but it’s still decent. Our third quarter is really bad for us, that’s usually when another team gets a bit of a lead and we don’t score well enough to come back from that lead right now. But yeah, I thought we started well, even then probably a few mistakes here and there but the first quarter was okay, especially defensively, I felt good defensively.”

LW then outscored Mingus Union 16-9 in the second quarter, 8-5 in the third and 12-8 in the fourth to pick up the win.

“I think we got our nerves back,” Arave said. “We scored I think six points in the first quarter and we scored 14 in the second so I think we loosened up and (senior guard) Liberty (Cronk) hit a three and it just stretched them a little bit more and when it stretched them we were able to get some lay ups and stuff.”

Cronk led all scorers with 15 points.

Junior Yazmein Mestas led the Marauders with seven points, followed by sophomore Jade Bach who had five and sophomore Mariana Lopez who have four.

The Lady Vols were 15-for–32 and Cronk almost outscored Mingus Union’s leading scorer from the foul line alone.

“They got too many free throws,” Ventura said. “We have some, what I would call cheap fouls, a little bit of a hand check here or there and we ended up putting them on the foul line really early and then in the first half that didn’t hurt us very much. In the second half it definitely did but they made their foul shots in the second. We’ve been playing well defensively, if we hold teams in the 30s and 40s we should be in that game and competing to win. So I haven’t been too upset with our defense. There’s times we break down but we hustle and usually on defense if you hustle and have that effort, you’re gonna do okay.”

Friday’s closer loss comes after a couple tough defeats, 60-28 to No. 16 Phoenix Moon Valley and 53-16 to No. 13 Flagstaff.

“As a coach I go into every day with some positivity and then some focus for the kids, so that we can continue to move forward,” Ventura said. “I don’t want them thinking about the last game too much so we watch film and then once we’re done with film we’re moving on, working on some focal points. It’s tough, I know it’s affecting them, trust me it’s affecting me – it’s difficult for me every day to come in and put that positive face on but I do and I think that every day after we’re done talking about the last game, they do, they pick up and they realize tomorrow’s another day, the next game’s another game where they can go out and try to do the things that we’ve been working on. It can be difficult, it’s daunting, we need a win, we’ve been in some many games that we’re right there and we can’t pull it out at the end and if we get one of those, I know it will carry forward and we’re start to play really well.”

UP NEXT

The Marauders travel to No. 21 Mohave on Tuesday. Their next home game is Friday against No. 29 Prescott.

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