Mustangs Run Free
Most teams like to take their time and look for the high-percentage shot. Then there’s Muir High which prefers to run every chance it gets.
In a Pacific League boys’ basketball game last Friday night at Glendale, the Mustangs were full of gallop as they built a 17-point halftime lead, and settled for a 66-54 win as four players finished in double figures.
Senior power forward Andre Frazier scored 15 points and added five assists with three blocks, junior center Taturs Mayberry had 14 points with seven rebounds and was coming off a 42-point outing against Burroughs, while senior point guard Dion Nelson tallied 12 points.
Muir (16-1 and 5-0 in league) sprinted to a 20-10 first-quarter lead, and outscored the Nitros 18-11 in the second quarter.
The Mustangs made 24 of 50 shots from the field (48 percent) and drilled 15 of 20 from the free-throw line.
“We knew Glendale would come out shooting,’’ said Muir Head Coach Gamal Smalley. “We learned from last year to respect them. They can make those shots.’’
Last season, Muir was ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section Division V-AA, had a 13-point lead late only to see the Nitros rally for a victory.
Glendale (7-10 and 2-3 in league) recovered in the third quarter as it scratched within 47-37 after making seven of 13 from the field.
Nitros’ senior center David Yetenikyan tallied eight of his 15 points in the quarter, and pulled down a game-best 23 rebounds. Yetenikyan fell one shy of tying the school mark.
Yetenikyan scored seven points in the final quarter, but the Nitros were led by senior forward Sevan Pogosyan’s game-high 19 points (16 in the first half).
“Muir came out and set the tempo,’’ said Glendale Head Coach Steve Snodgress. “We tried to slow it down in the first half. Their length bothered us, but I love how we competed. We contested their shots in the second half, and we shot better in the third quarter.’’
Glendale missed its first seven shots of the fourth quarter, while junior wingman Jelani Mitchell (11 points) scored and converted a free throw, and Frazier added a hoop.
“A lot of our best players are juniors,’’ said Smalley. “They’re going to continue to mature.”
Senior shooting guard Michael Cockrell (eight points) canned a three-pointer, and sophomore small forward Brian Carrier (six points) added a bucket.
Muir was successful on 10 of 12 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
When the Nitros (22 of 64 for 34 percent) missed, Muir would swallow up the loose ball and race down the floor for easy layups and dunks.