For Kouts patrons and students, basketball season is equivalent to a football season. Kouts thrives in the season that celebrates sweaty students, iconic plays, ticking anticipation, and determination. So, when basketball season rolls around, not only do the students explode in enthusiasm. The parents, grandparents, foes, longtime pals, and players crowd in for the game. From there these odd groups of people hop place to place as the basketball boys play, lose, win, and share in every fantastic moment. Plus, wherever you’re from, whether it be the opposing side that night, or right in your home gym, basketball brings about this sense of competition. It rials up the most unenthusiastic crowd.
This year, the season already had begun in a whirlwind of hoops and rebounds, and the Mustangs and Fillies were really in crunch time with PCC around the corner. However, they began rough in January. On January 3rd, the Fillies lost to Knox 58-49. Chloe Koedyker led the team with moxie, scoring thirteen points, grabbing five rebounds, and managing four assists. Morgan Kobza trailed behind with ten points and six rebounds, with Sadie Leatherman adding eight points, McKenna Palmer with nine points, and Ryleigh Cadwell adding seven.
On January 6th, the JV Mustangs defeated North Judson 53-45. Anthony Norman scored 26 points with five rebounds, followed by Peyton Clinkenbeard scored eight points and eight rebounds. Will Carpenter then added nine points and Riley Cavinder managed six assists. The Varsity Mustangs defeated North Judson 47-31, but, unfortunately, lost to Oregon Davis that same weekend 64-51.
Ethan Ketchmark racked up a total of thirty-four points and eighteen rebounds. Followed by Alex Garavalia with twenty-one points and eight assists, then Brent Wireman added twenty-seven points and ten rebounds. Dillan Matthes was just behind, a little shy of thirteen points while Jake Stewart had four rebounds and Zac Nomanson had threed assists. On January 10th, the Fillies took a close loss to the LaCrosse Tigers 35-34. Sadie Leatherman led the way with nine points and fourteen rebounds, followed by Chloe Koedyker with eight points and eleven rebounds, Mckenna Magura with seven points, Claire Cochran with four points, and Morgan Kobza also with four.
The Varsity Mustangs then fell to two close games over the weekend of January 13th to Washington Township 44-41 and Rensselear 47-46. Ethan Ketchmark racked up total of thirty points, eighteen rebounds, and four assists. Alex Garavailia had a total of ten points, eight rebounds, and three assists. Tyler Heimberg added twenty points and Dillan Matthes scored seven. In the JV boys game, they slayed Washington and Rensselear. Anthony Norman gained thirty-five points total and nineteen rebounds, followed by Peyton Clinkenbeard with twenty-three points and seven rebounds.
For Kouts, the goal this year was to respark the old spirit that seemed to fade over the years. And so far, it’d been a major success, especially with Homecoming and Homecoming week and now it was time to really hype it up. It was PCC time and the spirit had to be hyped up if we wanted to support our boys and also if we wanted to score that spirit award.
Unfortunately, The Fillies were defeated in the first round of the PCC tourney by LaCrosse 46-32. Chloe Koedyker scored ten points, grabbed eight rebounds, and had five assists, followed by McKenna Magura with nine points, and Sadie Leatherman with four points and four rebounds. The Mustangs, however, picked up a win around January 18th, defeating LaCrosse 51-35. Brent Wireman led th team with eleven points and five rebounds, followed by Alex Garavalia with eleven points and five rebounds, then coming up behind Alex was Dillan Matthes with eleven points. Ethan Ketchmark had seven rebounds and Zac Nomanson sank three free-throws. On January 22nd, the Mustangs fell to Hebron at the semi-finals of the PCC tournament. Ethan Ketchmark was leading with twelve points and seven rebound, Dillan Matthes close behind with twelve points and four assists. Alex Garavalia added nine points to the scoreboard, with Tyler Heimberg contributing six rebounds. Brent Wireman managed to lend a hand, with four assists while Jake Stewart preoccupied himself by sinking four more points.
While the boys took some losses and a major win, the crowd and students kept their cheer spirit up enough to persuade the judges during PCC. The students had three days of PCC wear, including tie-dye, black and gold, and (the favorite) PJ’s! The Poms team rocked a routine to complement the “Cops” theme chosen for this year and the cheerleading team busted out cheers to keep the spirit high and the crowd roaring. With cheers, whoops, and shouts from the crowd encouraging and egging on the boys team, we managed a victory at the PCC game. So much so that Kouts was awarded the spirit award! This is the first time in 16 years!
The boys continued with their season on January 24th, when the JV boys, unfortunately, lost to 21st Century. Anthony Norman scored fifteen points and Will Carpenter scored eight, while Hunter Yager scored seven. The Varsity Mustangs also fell to 21st Century. Dillan Matthes scored fourteen points, followed by Ethan Ketchmark with ten points and seven rebounds. Jake Stewart added eight points and grabbed seven rebounds. Tyler Heimberg scored seven points and managed eight rebounds. Brent Wireman snagged four steals and lent a hand with four assists. On the precceding day, The Filles JV team fell to Boone Grove.
Madolyn Smith had six points and five rebounds, Mallory Simpson added five points and three steals. Faith Robertson contributed five points and Kaylee Clindaniel had four rebounds and four blocked shots. However, the Mustangs C-team took down the Hanover Central Wildcats 53-51. Leading was Hunter Yager with fifteen points, Chase Jefferson with thirteen points, Ian Garavalia with thirteen also, Tristan Bolton with six, and Conor McCormick with six.