Mustangs looking to build on motivation

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Photo by Brynna Hollins

Adam Peterson attempts to block a shot by a rival Chanute Blue Comet on Dec. 9.

On Nov. 17, you may have awakened at 7 a.m. to roll out of bed and get ready for school. Not the boys who play basketball. They were getting up at 5:30 a.m. for early practices.

“We get a lot out of the early morning practices,” freshman Ethan Holloway said.

Holloway has lots of company. There are 11 freshmen on the IHS basketball team this season. “It is a lot faster paced than eighth grade,” ninth-grader Isaac Vink remarked, “and it is more physical.”

Six seniors and other upperclassmen are leading the charge into a new season, so these underclassmen will need to work hard if they want to work their way closer a spot on varsity.

With there “only being six of us,” senior Shane Walden said, “we have a more than expected amount of freshmen with good talent.”

This year’s seniors have big shoes to fill after the Mustangs earned a trip to the state tournament last season. The 12th-graders on this year’s team are Walden, Kaden Macha, Adam Peterson, Kohl Endicott, Travis Hermstein and Alex Bauer.

“The team is a good size this year,” coach Bill Peeper said. “It is not the biggest or the smallest team we’ve had, but it is a good size.”

Kohl Endicott sets up a play as Kaden Macha gets open in the Garnett tournament opening round Dec. 9.
Kohl Endicott sets up a play as Kaden Macha gets open in the Garnett tournament opening round Dec. 9.

The Mustangs opened the season in Girard on Dec. 5. The freshmen had a win, but the junior varsity and varsity both lost. The varsity also played last week at a tournament at Anderson County High School in Garnett, falling to Chanute 68-37 in the first game Dec. 9.

“We gave up shots that Chanute capitalized on,” junior Brett Taylor said.

“We could have worked harder, but we did pretty well,” senior Adam Peterson said.

Te boys lost to Louisburg 69-40 on Dec. 11, but bested Anderson County the following day 57-54.

Even though the season has not yet been highly successful, coach Peeper has high hopes. “We play well together, and we have a lot of room for improvement,” he said.

The first home game was scheduled for Tuesday, versus the Central Heights Vikings.