Lady Mustangs’ points leader Julia Mendez walks off the court after Friday’s loss to Watsonville. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

KING CITY — King City Mustang girls’ basketball team started the new year off with a bang as they split their first two games of 2023.

To start the year, the Lady Mustangs began with a Cypress Division game against North Monterey County High School.

King City was able to dominate in their first league game, beating the Condors 54-29. Leading the way for the Lady Mustangs was Nicole Vasquez, who had a career high 14 points.

The Lady Mustangs, who are now 1-0 in league play, are still trying to build a rhythm and will struggle with the teams with size. The good thing for King City is that they are tough and will not fear any team in the division.

In their second matchup of the week, the Lady Mustangs had one last non-league game against the Wildcatz of Watsonville High School.

The Lady Mustangs showed their toughness and wouldn’t back down from Watsonville, but Wildcatz player Xitlali Montesino set a school record by scoring 32 points. The Lady Wildcatz beat King City, 68-35.

Lady Mustangs’ top point scorers from the game were Sage Flores, who scored 13 points, and

Julia Mendez, who dropped 10 points.

The Lady Mustangs will look to get back on track when they host Soledad on Tuesday, after press deadlines. 

Mustang boys

After winning three straight games to end the year, the King City Mustang boys’ basketball team has started the new year with two losses.

The Mustangs ended 2022 with a huge win over the Seaside Spartans, 67-64. The Spartans are looking to push for a league title in the Mission Division. King City’s Raul Garcia scored a team-high 21 points.

As the new year rolled in, so did league play in the Cypress Division. The gap between all the teams in the division is slim. The leaders to win the division coming into the season were Watsonville and Marina, who are having a great year.

In the preseason, the Mustangs showed they have the offensive firepower to score with anybody.

King City would have a shot at Marina in their first game of the new year, but they came up short, losing a close one, 56-52.

In their second matchup, the Mustangs hosted North Salinas High Vikings. They picked up their second straight loss in league play. The King City defense let the Vikings score a season-high 69 points to the Mustangs’ 58.

The good news is the Mustangs still have time to make a run, but starting 0-2 doesn’t leave much room for error. King City will look to get their first league win when they travel to Gonzales High School on Tuesday.

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Jason Gallardo is the sports reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers high school sports for South Monterey County.


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