The Mustang girls basketball team has had a rough beginning to their season with a 0-3 start, falling to Clay Center on Dec. 4, to Abilene on Dec. 8 and to Council Grove Dec. 11.
The girls are have a new coach, Adam Plummer, and they are led by only two seniors this season, Alli Snapp and Veronica Valburg.
The team started the season off at home against the Clay Center Tigers, who finished third place in last season’s state tournament. The Mustangs fight was not enough, however, as they fell to the lady Tigers, 41-19.
“I thought, against Clay Center, it didn’t matter what the score was,” Plummer said. “I thought they continued to compete.”
The Mustangs had a strong defensive showing, but had some large struggles on the offensive side.
“[We need to work on] running plays all the way through and not panicking,” Snapp said.
The Mustangs took the Clay Center loss as a lesson and worked hard to bounce back and improve for their game against Abilene.
“I think we realize they [Clay Center] were a good team, but we realize we need to work harder and focus more in practice,” junior Morgan Feldkamp said.
Going into the game, the girls knew that Abilene would be a very difficult opponent, and it would take some great effort to come out with a win.
“We knew they were good, but we had to know that we had to fight harder against them on defense and offense,” sophomore Demi Kunkel said.
The strong effort from the Mustangs was not enough, however, as they fell to Abilene, 43-17, with Feldkamp leading the Mustang scoring with 11 points. The Mustangs again had a strong defensive showing, but fell short on scoring.
“We got to have a willingness to shoot,” Plummer said. “We’re wide open sometimes, and we don’t want to shoot; we just want to pass it, we’ve got to have more than one or two people that are willing to at least shoot. If one person breaks down the defense and kicks it to you, you’ve got to be willing to shoot. Whether you make or miss 100 [shots], you got to at least put it up there.”
The Mustangs played in their first road game of the season against the Council Grove Braves Dec. 11. They came up short of the victory again, losing a close one, 43-29.
Rock Creek was able to capture their first win of the season Dec. 15, defeating the St. Marys Bears 42-33.
The Mustangs look to keep working hard to improve on their game and gain some wins down the road.
“I know it’s kind of cliché, but we need to just stay the course and stay together,” Plummer said. “Losing makes it tough because division typically starts to happen from the outside, whether that be parents, grandparents or other people telling you what you should be doing and why the coaches aren’t doing what they should be. Just staying the course and continuing to focus on getting a little bit better every day. We can’t make huge improvements; we’re gonna have to make small improvements, and maybe by the end of the year, it will seem like a big improvement.”
Article by Nate Williams, staff member
Photo courtesy of Heather Weers, parent