By Milla Butler
On the 29th annual Silver Lake Holiday tournament, the Mustang boys, unfortunately, suffered two losses to the Exeter-Milligan Timberwolves and the Red Cloud Warriors. The final score against Exeter-Milligan ended up 60-55. The first quarter ended up 7-10, the second quarter 14-15, the third quarter 17-10, and the fourth quarter ended up 10-13, the Mustangs trailing closely behind in each quarter. Getting around the Timberwolves’ tough defense, leading scorers for the Mustangs include freshmen Beau Bonifas and Landon Duester, with 15 and 7 points. Juniors Keaton Karr, Trey Vance, and Tayten Menke also contributed, providing 7, 10, and 11 points.
Unfortunately for the Mustangs, Red Cloud also took the lead over them in the holiday tournament. The final score against the Warriors ended up 43-41, with the first quarter tallying to 13-9, the Warriors in the lead. The last three quarters were also in the Warriors’ hands, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters ending up 7-12, 8-13, and 15-7. Leading scorers against the Warriors include Duester with 12 points, Karr with 10 points, and Menke with 8 points.
After putting up an eager fight in the annual holiday tournament, head coach, Paul Bade, commented, “I really thought the team took some steps forward in the games over the break. I wouldn’t necessarily say we played well versus Exeter-Milligan, but we competed hard. It was fun to see them in a game situation such as that. Playing in a double overtime game, win or lose, brings your competitive mentality up a notch. We played Red Cloud in our first game this season, and they pretty much did what they wanted to against us at that time. We always talk about how the team is improving or that we see improvement in what they are doing. But being able to play versus Red Cloud and have a lead in the fourth quarter just several weeks after first playing them is something they can grasp onto for actually seeing that improvement. I thought our players had their best game this season, and truly started playing better fundamental basketball as individuals and together as a team. The buy-in of our players has been tremendous from day one, it’s just hard to see them not get positive results from that work in regard to winning games. They have to trust the process and the wins will come shortly. There is not a player or coach that does not see that happening in the short-term future for this team. We have a lot of games coming up in a short time, so some of this time is spent getting better at executing what we do, teaching the game of basketball, and preparing for game situations that have hurt us recently.”