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first_imgNEWHALL – The version of The Master’s College women’s basketball team that has defeated opponents by at least 26 points in both of its first two games is not the version that should be expected to be seen later in the season. The Mustangs expect to be even better. Despite its early success, The Master’s is a youthful team in transition, looking forward to how good it can be when a group that includes six freshmen and four sophomores hits its stride. The Mustangs start two freshmen and two sophomores, and two of the first three players off the bench are freshmen. “I don’t think I’ve had a team this young before,” said Master’s coach Ken Sugarman, who has two seniors and one junior on the roster. “The bar was set pretty high last year. Coming in, they wanted to live up to that standard. … Coming in, I think they said, `This is where we want to be, and we want to keep it there.’ They won in high school. They have that winning background. They have that kind of expectations and work ethic. “They’re going to keep getting better. They should be a different team at the end of the season.” GSAC play begins: The Mustangs open Golden State Athletic Conference play Tuesday at Concordia. The Master’s is ranked No. 4 in the nation, but doesn’t anticipate an easy path to a conference title as GSAC rival Vanguard is ranked No. 1 in the country and returns all five of its starters from a team that swept the Mustangs during conference play last season. “We’re going to have our hands full with them,” Sugarman said. `But I like our ability to compete with them.” All-American encore: Amid The Master’s youth is a veteran leader in senior Kinsley Mittel, who earned All-America status as a junior. The guard entered this season as the Mustangs’ fourth all-time leading scorer and has continued to pour in the points. Mittel scored 22 points in the season opener and added a game-high 17 points Thursday against Hawaii Pacific. [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Sugarman stresses the importance of communication as he tries to remember that most of his players are still adapting to the system and each other. The young players haven’t wasted any time in showing that they plan to do their part in helping the Mustangs repeat last season’s NAIA Final Four appearance. Freshman Annie Gillespie, a 6-foot-1 guard from Fresno, scored The Master’s first points of the season with a three-pointer for her first of 15 points in last weekend’s 75-49 victory over Dominican. She also contributed 10 rebounds and five steals, both game highs. Through two games, Gillespie ranks second on the team on scoring and first with an average of nine rebounds. Freshman point guard Lisa Chenoweth is averaging 10 points a game. Chenoweth and Gillespie tied for the team lead with six assists each in Thursday’s 94-48 victory over Hawaii Pacific. “I expected them to be pretty good,” Sugarman said of the freshman class. “Honestly, I think they had some pretty high expectations themselves. last_img