VIDEO: Mustangs advance to Okanagan Valley championship
The Maggie Mustangs senior boys basketball team delivered in a must-win situation.
The Mustangs booked their ticket into the 2A Okanagan Valley championship next weekend in the North Zone with a 66-51 win over the Summerland Rockets. The Mustangs overcame a 12-point deficit.
“I thought we played very well. We had some guys step up,” said Mustangs coach Dan Van Os. “I thought Jaylen Hearne did a very good job on their star player Rylan Van Der Meulen. Really contained him.”
The Mustangs delivered with strong shooting, especially hitting shots from three-point range. Prab Chahal led offensively with 26 points and added six assists and four steals. Hearne had 16 points to go with 10 boards and three blocks. Jivraj Grewal chipped in 10 points and seven boards.
Van Os credited the players’ ability to make shots and be patient with plays.
“Sometimes we have a habit of trying to shoot a little too quick,” said Van Os. “We were able to execute. We wanted to move the ball well. We played with some composure.”
According to Hearne, a one-point loss to the Rockets during a tournament in Armstrong was still fresh in their minds. When asked about his own performance that including draining shots from three-point range, Hearne said he did “fairly good this game.”
“I pushed the ball, got lots of good shots off,” he said. “We had a good warm up, which we normally don’t have. Our warm ups have been pretty bad lately.”
Hearne said they were motivated with the need to win or their season would have been over.
Both teams were aggressive on the defensive side of the court with hard battles and picking up steals. Chahal ended up with a cut near his left eye after a collision, which required stitches following the game. Battles were especially strong in the key. There were times when the official had to warn players about taking hard fouls.
The Mustangs had a small, but vocal group of supporters cheering them on.
“It was nice for the guys to play in front of a crowd, a bit of pressure,” said Van Os.
Along with good ball movement and showing patience on offence, Van Os also said they rebounded well and can carry that into provincials.
“We were able to control some boards. Got some inside points off some second chances,” he said, adding he has stressed that all year.
Now it’s a matter of the Mustangs earning one of the top two spots among eight teams to advance to provincials. Van Os said it will be a challenge as they will face quality schools.