Mustangs Begin Season With a ‘W’

Iola Mustangs trample Girard Trojans with strong attack in home opener

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You have to get up pretty early in the morning to join the IHS boys basketball team.
“It was good being out there” for the initial week of two-a-day practices aimed at conditioning and honing skills, senior Trent Latta said, “but very tiring as well.”
As well as making physical preparations, the players also get fit mentally. Coach Bill Peeper has the boys do various activities outside of practice to improve their game, including crosswords, speeches and finding definitions for words and applying those ideas to how they relate to being part of a team.
“We use those things for the purpose of having us think about why we play,” Peeper said. “It engages us in the learning process. [The coaches] think it’s information they need to know. Some of it is to enforce what they already know.”
Senior Bryan Mueller said it’s “a different kind of way to prepare, but it helps us to get to know our team. It also helps us with our basketball knowledge.”
The Mustangs are expecting big things this season. Last year, they fell short of the Pioneer League championship, but this year they’re pressing hard for it.
“I want to get further than last year, a lot further,” senior Tyler Powelson said. “Hopefully we’ll win the league.”
In their first game of the season, the Mustangs came out strong, winning 43-37 on Dec. 6 against Girard, to whom they lost in a close game last year.
“We’re playing more like a team should,” senior Adam Kauth said. “We’re also playing more aggressive.”
Playing smart ball, the varsity boys struggled early against the Trojans but they worked to choose their shots carefully and give the team an advantage.
“It’s good to start the season off on the right note,” senior Tyler McIntosh said after the home-opening victory. “It felt good to get our first win at home in front of all our friends and families.”
The JV boys lost their first game in a close 43-51 battle with the Trojans on Dec. 6.
The varsity boys played against Chanute in the Baldwin City tournament on Dec. 11, when they fell 47-37. They were returning to Baldwin High on Dec. 13.
The basketball teams are heading to Fredonia this week, then will start the new year with trips to Chanute on Jan. 7 and Osawatomie on the 10th. The next home game is against Central Heights on Jan. 14.