A new look and a new coach for St. Vincent girls basketball

“We have quite a few young players led by freshman Siena Tarantino.” - St. Vincent Coach Will Bullard|

An extremely young team took the floor last week for the St. Vincent Mustang girls when they traveled to Tomales to officially open the 2022 basketball campaign.

There were no seniors on the 13-player roster under first year coach Will Bullard as the Mustangs captured the rivalry contest 31-28 to get a program rebuilding process under way.

Bullard, from the Detroit area, comes with full hoop credentials after finishing a collegiate career at Texas A and M Corpus Christi with several stops along the way. He has been working with an enthusiastic bunch of Mustang hopefuls who also won their non-counting foundation outing against Averroes of Fremont before the official season opener.

St. Vincent has posted a three-year hoops mark of 18-35, and Bullard admits, “There is work to be done. Right now we are concentrating on team structure with the help of Dayna Griesen, last year's coach. She has been a great help, and she knows the game. Dayna has made it a smooth transition.

“We have been working on individual stretching to open each practice session, but swinging into fundamentals and the structure of the game early in the season,” said Bullard. “We are working on passing and sharing the basketball. It is our goal to get plenty of shots up as well.”

Izzy Bagdalia is one of the top returning players for the Mustangs, and she comes with many minutes of game action from last year's club. When the season gets well under way, it should be Bagdalia as the leader of the 2022 five.

“We have quite a few young players led by freshman Siena Tarantino,” noted Bullard.

“She had 13 points in the foundation game and just played good basketball. Siena and Maddy Rynning had good outings. Haley Sarlatte grabbed 10 rebounds and could be a force for us in that area.”

Other candidates competing for playing time are Dahla Melendez, Emily Izetta,Kaylee Richie, Kierra Squires, Nora Kaszuba, Andrea Hartman, Nedine Ghattas and Makayla Bignardi

Following the Tomales game, the Mustangs returned to DeCarli Gym where they went completely cold against the pressing Novato Hornets (2-2) and absorbed a heartbreaking 23-20 loss on a couple of shots in the final seconds of play.

A 2-pointer by Allish Lowth inside the one-minute mark gave the Hornets of former Petaluma coach Jon Ratshin the margin of victory.

A full court zone press by Novato was difficult for the young Mustang back court to solve, and they turned the ball over 17 times in the first half alone.

The Mustangs did not record a field goal until 33 seconds remained on the clock in the second period when Siena Tarantino hit a runner off the backboard.

Badaglia did a solid job moving the ball up court at times, but the Mustangs did not get squared up for good looks at the basket throughout.

Sophomore Sarlatte played well with her back to the basket, but oftentimes the Mustang perimeter players could not locate her inside. She pulled down 8 rebounds to lead both teams.

St. Vincent trailed 13-9 at intermission’ and finally rallied to knot the score at 20-20 before the critical Lowth 2-pointer. The Mustangs never led.

Freshman Hartman had some strong aggressive offensive moments for the hosts, but could not overcome turning the ball over against the press, and it made a difference in the outcome.

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