While it was cold and rainy night outside, the Delta Mustangs’ men and women basketball teams continued their hot play as both improved to 12-1 in Big 8 Conference play with wins in their final home game of the season on Feb. 8 against Folsom Lake.
In a night that included supporting Coaches vs. Cancer and the sophomores playing in their final home game, it was the women’s team that opened the night by raining three-pointers during their 83-57 win over the Falcons before the men’s team held on to end the night with an 86-81 win.
“She’s playing really well right now,” said head coach Gina Johnson about sophomore Paiton Demps, who scored a game-high 22 points to go along with four assists and three steals.
“She makes a lot of things happen when plays are breaking down. She’s smart and leading our team in assists, and she’s making the people around her better.”
Sophomore’s Sankia Braxton and Donwanae Anthony also both had nice nights. Braxton had 15 points and eight rebounds, while Anthony just missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.
“At first it was a little shaky because I was out with my shoulder (injury),” said Demps about her season, which started with her suffering an injury and missing a few games.
“That was a little rough, but that made me want to come back even better and stronger. So far it has been a really good season, but it would be better if we go farther and win things like the conference.”
Looking to cap off the night with a sweep for the Mustangs, the men’s team quickly jumped out to a big lead over the Falcons and it looked like they would be well on their way to a comfortable win before a finish that was much closer.
Coming into the night on an 11-game winning streak, the men’s team had a habit of playing close games with six of their previous eight wins decided by six points or less — including a one-point win at the Falcons. Their double-digit lead was cut down to a one-possession game, but they held on for the win.
“There have been no easy games in the last 12,” said head coach Rich Ressa about their current 12-game winning streak. “In the Big 8 for men’s basketball, every night is a battle.” Cameron Pieters scored 21 points in the win.
With two games left to play in the regular season the women’s team is 22-4 overall and in first place by a half game while the men’s team is 21-5 overall and have clinched their first Big 8 Conference championship in ten years.