SANTA ANA — Just three weeks ago, the Costa Mesa High girls' basketball team was in the midst of an eight-game losing streak.
Coach Nichole Maddox said it became tough mentally for the Mustangs.
But nowadays, Mesa is thinking more pleasant thoughts. First place in the Orange Coast League is more than just a pipe dream after the Mustangs breezed past Calvary Chapel, 52-26, on Tuesday night.
Costa Mesa is now 8-11, but 3-0 in league, tied for first with cross-town rival Estancia.
"We lost the mind game," senior forward Annie Sturm said of the Mustangs' 1-8 start. "But now that league's started, we've come out a lot more focused. We're starting to win the head game, which has completely changed the way we're playing. We're not getting down on ourselves as much. We're starting to focus a lot more. Focus and defense, that's what we're about this year."
The Mustangs had both in abundance against overmatched Calvary Chapel (1-13, 0-3). They had 34 steals, led by senior forward Itzel Flores with seven and sophomore guard Marilyn Armstrong with six.