Bill Redman has so much confidence in his three senior guards that the first-year Stockdale coach allows them to run the offense of their choosing.
Redman, a longtime basketball coach who took over the Mustangs’ program in the offseason, knew he was handed a talented bunch.
Those three senior guards in Aaryn Pickett, Jiana Boston and Maby Lomotos combined for 33 points as the Mustangs beat Bakersfield 50-45 on Wednesday in a battle of undefeated teams in the Southwest Yosemite League.
“They have an amazing basketball I.Q.,” Redman said of his three senior captains. “When they are on the floor, they can feel it. It makes us quicker team than if I called the plays. They can do it when they are coming up the floor. They are like little coaches out there and I trust them. We empower them to take it over.”
The Mustangs (17-4, 4-0) also take over sole possession of first place in the SWYL with the victory. It’s the first league loss for BHS in two years after the Drillers went 10-0 in league play last season.
The Drillers (12-4, 3-1) did play without Grand Canyon-bound senior guard Taylor Caldwell. BHS coach Rashaan Shehee elected to sit Caldwell to allow his standout more time to recover from a leg injury she suffered in December.
“We are looking out for the best interest of the team, the best interest of the player,” Shehee said. “Taylor is not ready to play right now. We will give her a couple more weeks and she will be ready.”
From the tip, it appeared the Drillers would be just fine without Caldwell.
BHS opened the game on a 9-0 run led by two 3-pointers by McKenna Hsuing, who scored a game-high 16 points for the Drillers.
Stockdale responded. Boston scored seven of her 12 points in the first quarter during a 13-3 run as the Mustangs went into halftime with a 25-24 lead.
Stockdale finally began to pull away late in the third quarter as Pickett’s defense set up fast-break opportunities and Lomotos hit three of her four 3-pointers in the second half.
Lomotos led Stockdale with 14 points. Her final shot from long range gave Stockdale a 50-41 lead with 1:52 to play.
“Our game is to push the ball,” Pickett said. “Our coach allows us to push the ball and it allows our game to work well. It flowed and it pushed them.”
Stockdale players were quick to point out that the win, the 11th consecutive for the Mustangs, was big, but it did come without one of the top guards in the Central Section.
“It would have been better if Taylor was playing, but it gives us more confidence,” Boston said. “People were expecting us to be worse, but we are No. 1 in league for now.”
Ja’Nece Green added nine points for Stockdale and Naomi Jennings added eight for the Mustangs.
Kiara Frink scored 12 points for BHS.