Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

Mustangs head to 2B Tourney


February 19, 2020

The Malta High School Gymnasium is set to host the 2020 2B District Tournament this weekend, as the Glasgow Scotties, Harlem Wildcats, Poplar Indians, and Wolf Point Wolves come to town.

The event is scheduled to start on Thursday, February 20, with a play in game at 8 p.m. between Glasgow and Poplar.

Last week, the Mustangs defeated Glasgow 51-42 in Malta on Friday, February 14. The night served as Malta’s Senior Night.

“It was good to get that win over Glasgow,” Malta Head Coach David Costin said. “That was a good win for us and our team played very good for us. We had a good effort that night.”

The team would fall the next night to Shelby on Saturday, February 15.

The Mustangs basketball team punched their ticket to the Northern B by way of their regular season district record of 4-4, but the teams know that they still have to win this weekend.

“The pressure is off that there will be that one game where everything is on the line this early in the tournaments,” Coach Costin said. “We would like to get into that championship round. That would help us with seeding in Divisionals. We would like to not have to face the number one or two team in the first round.”

This weekend Malta Mustangs will start things off against Wolf Point, a team that Malta split the season series with. Malta defeated the Wolves in Malta 54-42 on Friday, January 3, but then fell to Wolf Point 60-56 in Wolf Point on Thursday, January 30.

If Malta is able to get past the Wolves, it is very likely that the team will see Harlem, who leads the district with a 7-1 record against district opponents. Harlem looks primed and ready for the postseason, as the team made waves around the state with their 101-53 win over Poplar on Saturday, February 15. In that game, Harlem senior Brad Cichosz set an state All-Class single game scoring record of 68 points.

In Malta’s 51-42 win over Glasgow, the Mustangs were led by junior Kooper Oxarart, who scored 14 points. Connor Tuss added 12. Tanner Smith and Kanyon Stiles both scored 10 points.

Coach Costin was encouraged by the team’s even scoring in the win.

“It’s nice to see and it makes us harder to guard,” Coach Costin said.

Tasked with defending Glasgow’s Keigan Skolrud, a dominant post player, Malta was able to hold Skolrub to eight points.

Malta struggled against the height and press of Shelby the next night, falling 41-25 to the Coyotes.

Malta’s leading scorer was Smith, who had 11 points. Pierce Mortenson had five points, Oxarart had four, Ben Costin had three, and Tuss had two.


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