True Grit: Unity Mustangs Well Constructed for Postseason Success


It was a drought that had lasted better than two understandably, it was a pretty big deal last year at this time when the Unity Mustangs broke through for just the fourth Regional Championship in Program History.

Success, it would seem, begets success...

The Mustangs are now back to back Sectional Qualifiers for the first time ever

Only this time around, the whole breakthrough story line and "just happy to be here" vibe are non-existent and Keith Carothers crew is all about their business.

Will Klusmeyer: "It feels pretty good. We're coming in with a big win streak right now through regionals and everything. And I mean, it's just carrying over. It's just building confidence as we go."

By its very nature, Post Season Basketball is no place for the timid. The deeper into the playoffs you go, the quieter the whistles become and the hard it becomes to earn a trip to the foul line. Home court advantage, from this point forward, is virtually non-existent. As is margin for error. This becomes the domain of the mentally and physically tough. And to that end, the Unity Mustangs are ideally suite for this moment in time.

Will Klusmeyer: "It just comes from practice. I mean, Coach makes us get out and get after each other in practice and it carries over onto the floor. I mean, we play a lot more physical than what anybody else does and it shows{>}"

Andrew Doyle: "We go hard against each other and it helps us all get better. I mean, when the play is over, we're all friends. But we go hard when it's live..."

Keith Carothers: "A lot of it is just role models. These guys feed off of each other and when all of these guys are getting after it in practice; diving on the floor, scrapping for loose balls, the rest of the guys really go out and do the same thing."ã??

Will Klusmeyer: "We go out and play hard. I mean, everybody else, most of the people get there from talent. But we feel we just work hard than everybody else and that we can come out with a win."ã??

In a word, The Mustangs are "gritty." They concede you absolutely nothing on the court; a defensive mindset that will come very much in handy Thursday against Kewanee Wethersfield and Star Guard Trevor Lay, who Keith Carothers likens to former Southeastern standout Regan