Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

Mustangs pick up a pair of wins in Shelby

 

December 12, 2018

DoDee Oxarart

Ben Costin goes up for a layup in Malta's win over Cut Bank.

The Malta Mustangs basketball team started their season off with a pair of wins at the Shelby Tip Off in Shelby on Friday, December 7 and Saturday, December 8.

In the team's first win they defeated the Cut Bank Wolves 58-46.

The team was led by senior Kevin Henry who had 14 points. Junior Tanner Smith had 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Ben Costin had nine points and four rebounds. Rhett Simanton had eight points and four rebounds. Kaden Bergos had six points. Cormac Benn had five points, and Kooper Oxarart had three points and five assists.

"Cut Bank is a younger team this year and they are a lot like us, size-wise and in youth," Mustangs Head Coach David Costin said.

Malta kicked off things by outscoring Cut Bank 20-5 in the first quarter. Cut Bank's offense stepped up in the second quarter putting up a fifteen point effort, while Malta added 16 to their total. The halftime score was 36-20.

The Wolves would outscore Malta 26-22 in the second half but the Mustangs would hang on to win.

"I think the brightest spot on the weekend is that defensively we played fairly well," Coach Costin said. "We had some glitches offensively but that's typical for a first weekend really."

In Malta's 42-31 win over the Florence-Carlton Falcons, things did not start off ideally for Malta as the Mustangs failed to score a single point in the first quarter. Florence-Carlton would score a pair of two-point field goals and three field goals.

"It started off ugly that's for sure," Coach Costin said. "We had some good looks, we just weren't knocking them down. Tanner had some inside, Ben had some inside, we had some good looks from the three point line, we just didn't hit them."

Malta only scored one field goal in the second quarter by way of a trey from Simanton, but the team also made it to the charity stripe for 13 attempts, converting eight. Florence-Carlton scored nine in the second quarter. The score at the half was 16-11 in favor of the Falcons.

"They put us on the line right away in the second quarter," Coach Costin said. "That's kind of how we finally got the lid off of the basket, we managed to knock some free throws down."

Malta held Florence-Carlton to four points in the third quarter and twelve in the fourth, while scoring thirty points in the second half.

At halftime, Coach Costin reassured his team, telling them that everything was okay. He also said that they had good looks at the basket but they just weren't going in.

"We were only down five points, so for the first quarter that we had, we were in pretty good shape," Coach Costin said. "We just had to go out and keep defending in the second half and eventually maybe some shots would go for us and they did."

Oxarart led Malta with 14 points and five rebounds. Smith had a ten point, ten rebound double-double. Henry had eight points. Simanton had five points and B. Costin had four points.

The Mustangs are scheduled to travel to Harlem to take on the Wildcats on Friday, December 14. The team will then head back to Malta for their home opener against Poplar on Saturday, December 15.

 

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