Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

Mustangs drop a couple

 

December 19, 2018

The Malta Mustangs dropped a pair of games to 2B foes last weekend losing 61-55 to Harlem on Friday, December 14, and 56-41 to Poplar on Saturday, December 15.

The Mustangs are set to host the Havre Blue Ponies on Tuesday, December 18. Coverage of the game will be in next week’s PCN. The team’s last action of 2018 will take place in Wolf Point on Saturday, December 22.

“Traditionally Havre plays some really good defense,” Malta Head Coach David Costin told the PCN. “With the new coach, I’m not sure yet, but I kind of expect some man to man defense.”

In Malta’s loss to the Poplar Indians, Malta was led by senior Tanner Smith, who had 18 points, six rebounds, and two blocks. Ben Costin had six points, four rebounds, and two steals. Kevin Henry had six points, four rebounds, and two steals. Rhett Simanton had three points. Cormac Benn had three points, six rebounds, two steals, and two assists. Kooper Oxarart had three points and Pierce Mortenson had two points.

Coach Costin felt Malta’s defense was okay but details of the team’s defense could use some attention.

“We are not sprinting back on defense the way I would like to see us do every time,” Coach Costin said.

Offensively the team struggled to sink shots, an issue that the team had in both games.

“Shooting the ball has been kind of a struggle right now,” Coach Costin said. “For one, I think we are settling for some shots that we can get at any point, instead of being more patient and trying to get something a little easier.”

Also hindering Malta’s efforts was a wave of sickness that passed over the team last week.

Malta jumped ahead to a 15-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, highlighted by a half-court bank shot buzzer beater from Simanton. The team led for a majority of the second quarter until Poplar’s offense found its rhythm. Poplar outscored Malta 18-7 to end the first half with a 27-22 lead.

Poplar’s offense posted an even stronger run of 18-6 in the third quarter, giving them a 51-28 lead going into the fourth quarter. Malta outscored Poplar 13-10 in the fourth quarter.

Despite the team not seeing much action in the off season, Coach Costin believes that the team will eventually see more efficiency on offense.

“I think we will get there but it’s going to take a little time,” Coach Costin said.

In the Mustangs’ loss to Harlem, the Mustangs were led by Simanton who scored 13 points. Simanton also knocked down three treys. Henry had ten points and three steals.

“Rhett has shot the ball as well as anybody for us,” Coach Costin said. “He is actually playing some really good basketball. Kevin Henry has shot the ball pretty well for us.”

Smith had 10 points and nine assists, two steals and two blocks. Oxarart had nine points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks. B. Costin had six points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Benn had five points and three rebounds. Kaden Bergos had two points and two rebounds.

 

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