Mustangs face tough slate of opponents

Mustang Fabian Ruiz drives past a defender.

The Varsity Mustangs faced three tough opponents last week and fell to a 2-5 overall record. They will play in Knippa Friday, at home on Saturday against Pettus, and then in Sabinal on Monday before they take a break for the holidays. District will start January 1st against Karnes City.
Last week the Natalia basketball team opened the week up at home vs. a tough Stockdale team on Wednesday. The Mustangs got off to a slow start and fell behind early with the Brahmas taking a 15-2 lead into the 2nd quarter. The Mustangs responded in the 2nd quarter as they outscored the Brahmas 10-9, including an 8-0 run to end the quarter. But the Brahmas proved to be too much for the Mustangs as they outscored Natalia 37-15 in the 2nd half to drop Natalia to 1-4 on the season. The Mustangs were led offensively by Coltin Richardson who finished with 7 points and Fabian Ruiz with 6 points, 11 rebounds. Offensively we did not take very good care of the ball and it led to Stockdale scoring 25 points in transition. They did a good job of turning our mistakes into points on the other end and it is hard to beat good teams when you give them extra opportunities.
Points: David Silva 5, Enrique DeOsio 3, Richardson 7, Xavier Vasquez 2, Jared Stallworth 4, Ruiz 6. Rebounds: Silva 1, DeOsio 3, Richardson 2, Vasquez 2, Stallworth 6, Ruiz 11. Assists: Vasquez 2. Steals: Silva 1, DeOsio 2, Richardson 3, Stallworth2, Ruiz 2. Q1 2-15, Q2 12-24, Q3 20-41, Q4 27-61. FTP 44%.
On Friday the Mustangs traveled to Pearsall for the first of 2 road games in as many days. Pearsall jumped out to a quick 24-10 lead in the first quarter with their full court pressure defense combined with Natalia being in early foul trouble with 10 fouls called against them in the first quarter. The Mustangs were able to find a rhythm in the second quarter as they used good ball movement to break the Pearsall defense down that led to some easy scoring opportunities. Natalia would be outscored 16-15 in the 2nd quarter as they trailed 40-25 entering halftime. Natalia’s first offensive possession of the 2nd half resulted in a turnover and Pearsall took advantage as they outscored Natalia 22-8 in the 3rd quarter to take a commanding 52-31 lead into the 4th quarter. Natalia outscored Pearsall 13-5 in the 4th quarter but it wasn’t enough as Pearsall took the win by a score of 67-46. Fabian Ruiz led the way with 14 points and 8 rebounds and Jared Stallworth scored 10 points. “We struggled once again to value possessions and turned the ball over 29 times that led to 26 points for Pearsall. We had a lot of success when we shared the ball and moved it around to break down their defense but we can’t just do it at times, we need to do it all the time. The kids played extremely hard, we just have to execute at a higher rate. Pearsall is a really athletic team and if you give them too many chances they will beat you.”
Points: Silva 9, DeOsio 4, Richardson 3, Vasquez 2, Stallworth 10, Oscar Torres 2, Ruiz 14, Geovanni Maldonado 2. Rebounds: Silva 5, Richardson 6, Vasquez 5, Stallworth 2, Torres 2, Ruiz 8, Maldonado 1. Assists: Silva 2, Richardson 4, Stallworth 2. Steals: Silva 1, DeOsio 2, Stallworth 2, Torres 1, Maldonado 1. Q1 10-24, Q2 25-40, Q3 33-62, Q4 46-67. FTP 33.3%.
The Mustangs had a quick turnaround as they made the trip to Three Rivers on Saturday to take on the Bulldogs. The Mustangs got off to a sluggish start but picked it up at the end of the 1st quarter as they were able to take a 16-11 lead. In the 2nd quarter, the Mustangs started to take control as they grew their lead to 11 before the Bulldogs came storming back. The Bulldogs were able to cut it to a 4 point lead of 26-22 with about 30 seconds left in the half before a big David Silva three put the Mustangs up 29-22 going into half time. The 2nd half was more of the same as the Mustangs would go on a little run quickly answered by the Bulldogs and a run of their own. The Mustangs outscored the Bulldogs by 4 in the 3rd quarter and would begin to pull away in the 4th quarter as the Mustangs were able to hold on to a 55-41 win to give the Mustangs their 2nd win of the season! The Mustangs were led by Fabian Ruiz – 15 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists; Xavier Vasquez – 10 points, 10 rebounds; David Silva – 9 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists; Oscar Torres – 8 points, 2 rebounds. “We did a really good job of executing on the offensive end whether it was handling the full court pressure of attacking the Bulldogs half-court defense and it helped us shoot 44% from the field which is our season high. We also took care of the ball and only turned it over 15 times. If we continue to do those things, we will have a chance to win some more games.”
Points: Silva 9, DeOsio 4, Vasquez 10, Stallworth 7, Torres 8, Ruiz 15. Rebounds: Silva 6, DeOsio 3, Richardson 2, Vasquez 10, Stallworth 4, Torres 2, Ruiz 8, Maldonado 1. Assists: Silva 8, DeOsio 1, Richardson 2, Vasquez 1, Torres 2. Steals: Silva 1, DeOsio 1, Vasquez 4, Stallworth 2, Ruiz 2. Q1 16-11, Q2 29-22, Q3 40-29, Q4 55-41. FTP 57%.
Coach Justin Welsh