With the Illinois Class 1A Quarterfinals tomorrow night, the Unity Mustangs are finishing up their final workouts of preparation. As we previewed for you last night, Lane Davis and Alex Blickhan will be the focal point for their opponents defense. But a guy that may not jump off a scouting report on Unity is who makes the Mustangs tick. Senior Will Klusmeyer is one of the glue pieces to a team that truly relies on his consistency every night. He's a big reason Coach Carothers squad is playing this deep in March
Coach Carothers: "Will does all the intangibles. He's a guy that, he's always on the floor, he's always on the pile after loose balls. That guy puts his body on the line every night. He goes out there and scraps a little bit, a little bit of that football background in him a little bit too. So he's not afraid of the contact. But man, he works his butt off on the floor it's like he never gets tired. We put him on all the tough guys defensively, when he's on defense he's got the offensive assignment. So, he's working his butt off all game long and it seems like he just keeps going.
Alex Blickhan: "He's so consistent. Every game he's putting up double digits points, he's always guarding their best defender, everything he does is taking the load off of our shoulders. He's just been consistent every week with points, defending, rebounding. Everything."
Lane Davis: "He's really tough. He never slows down. He's always hustling. It seems like he never gets tired. It's like he's a marathon runner. And every time he's just out there working hard, cutting to the basketball, doing everything he needs to do."
Will Klusmeyer: "More than anything it's for the young players. Some of them, we got freshmen playing, they're nervous coming up in these games. For our seniors to come out and show them we're going to give it our all. Then they want to back us up and they're going to want to give everything they have. That just relates us playing together. We just kind of keep rolling."
He may not be atop the scoresheet every night, but Will Klusmeyer makes his presence felt in other aspects of the game that certainly don't go unnoticed. And if he struggles offesively, he never does on the defensive side of the ball.
Klusmeyer: "Ever since I was little they always told me offense, it's going to come and go, but defense you can play it every night. You just have to work hard and stuff and work through pain and stuff and just stay on everybody. Because you can always have an off night on offense but as long as you're playing well on defense you've always got a shot."
Coach Carothers: "He's come up big. Will's done the things that we've needed to have happen in tough spots. When we need a big bucket, he's the guy that gets the offense set or just takes it himself. He knows, he senses the moment, he feels the importance of each and every possession and takes it upon himself a lot of times to make that happen. He hasn't been a huge scorer all year long, but he can score when he needs to. You've seen that this post-season."
Davis: "It makes us feel like we have to step our game up too. When he's playing at that level we have to pick it up and work just as hard as he does every day. And when he's working hard he's making everyone better at the same time. It's great."
Klusmeyer: "All of our seniors need to step up as leaders. We need to lead by example too. It's more then just talking to people and stuff. We need to show them what to do. And if we're willing to do it they're going to step up and do it too."