By: Samantha Bonifas
In 2005, the Silver Lake boys basketball team won the district final and headed to state for the first time in program history. Since then, the boys team has fallen short of a winning record year after year. 5-16, 4-15, 4-16, 6-13, 10-11, 10-10, 4-15, 9-14, 1-19, 8-13, 4-18, 6-15, 6-16, 6-17, and 8-15. Until the 2020-2021 basketball season. With a 12-8 regular season record, the Mustang Men headed into subdistrict play with the number one seed and a feeling of confidence as 3 of the 4 opponents in their subdistrict were on their regular season schedule and they had beat them handily. On Tuesday, the boys faced off against Red Cloud at Giltner. The game started slow with both teams putting 6 points on the scoreboard in the first quarter. The Mustangs struggled to get into their usual offensive groove in the second quarter. At half, they were behind 14-13. At halftime, the Mustang Men regrouped themselves and planned a defensive strategy to get past the tough screens of the Red Cloud Warriors. The Mustangs created a gap for the fourth quarter with a 27-18 lead. In the fourth quarter, Silver Lake did their job and only let Red Cloud score 1 point to make the final score 37-19.
On Thursday, Silver Lake travelled to Giltner one more time to seal the deal for their sub district championship. The boys were set to play Heartland Lutheran. Oakley Rosno led the Mustang offense in the first half as he tallied up buckets to get to his 14 points. The Mustangs had control of the game until the fourth quarter, when the Hornet’s defense began to slow down Silver Lake. With about 2 minutes left in the game, Heartland Lutheran stole the ball and made a layup to tie the game. Logan Greenough came in clutch and made a shot to take the Mustangs up by one. The Mustangs finished the game strong and won 30-28 to advance to the district finals for the first time since 2005.
On Saturday, February 27, Mustang country travelled to Ord to take on St. Mary’s. In the first quarter, the Mustangs offense was shut down. The Cardinals took a 16-3 lead and extended it to a 30-8 lead at half. Aiden Hedstrom of St. Mary’s was 16 for 17 at the freethrow line. The Mustangs outscored St. Mary’s in the third and fourth quarter, and even managed to get the game back to an 8 point gap. However, with no opportunity to get the game close before the time ran out, the Mustangs lost 54-41. Oakley Rosno and Blaine Simonton led the Mustangs with 11 and 13 points respectively. Although the Mustangs did not get the finish they wanted, head coach Todd Rosno was still very proud of his team. “The team finished 14-9 and was one win away from a state tournament appearance. The upperclassmen were determined to be successful. They achieved that goal. My favorite part of this group was the work they put in each and every day. Each player challenged themselves daily to improve.”
The Mustangs lose seniors Lane Parr, Derek Zubrod, Logan Greenough, Blaine Simonton, and Matthew Hansen. Silver Lake is committed to having another successful season. “We will continue to compete every day in practice and games and build on the success from this season,” said Todd.