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PHOTO BY SALLY VANDENACK

The Mustangs are shown here with their tournament banner from back left: Coach Todd Vandenack, 34-Nick Way, 44-Klayton Walker, 35-Justus Kessler, 15-Romello Kirk, 23-Armando Martinez, and 45-Thorin Rowe. From front left: 12-Julien Savage, 25-Connor Messenger, 10-Ethan Wolf, 5-Mason Wansick, 1-Kevin Vandenack, and 24-Trevor Mitchell.

By Sarah Kirk

The Mustangs were invited to play at the Comet Winter Classic Tournament in McKinleyville on January 28 and 29. There were 40 teams at this tournament making up 5 different divisions. The 6th graders had one, and both the 7th and 8th graders each had 2, an A and a B division.

The Mustangs were put in the 7th grade B division. This tournament hosted teams from as far south as Healdsburg and as far north as Brookings, Oregon.

Every single game we played in this tournament was challenging. The first game was against Azalea Middle School from Brookings. The second was against St. Bernard’s in Eureka, and the championship game was against a team from Healdsburg.

Like the other teams, Healdsburg came to win this tournament and they meant business. They were not about to give up easily, and they took us all the way into double overtime by the end of the game.

Congratulations to No. 23, Armando Martinez and No. 1, Kevin Vandenack for winning All Tourney medals, and to Justus Kessler for getting MVP for the tournament. Did you know that the coaches of the opposing teams pick who gets these awards? I just learned this new little fact at this last tournament. Great job boys.

The Mustangs have come a long way as a team. Showing poise the whole way, this is the second time that they have pulled themselves up from behind to take the lead. They worked with a man-to-man defense and kept the other teams to minimal points in every game. These boys work hard, 5 days a week, 2 to sometimes 3 hours per day, and it is showing in their performance on the court.

Mustangs – 13 9 14 9 -45

Azalea, Brookings, OR – 4 8 11 13 -36

Mustangs – 9 12 18 8 -45

St. Bernards – 14 6 4 10 -36

Mustangs – 8 5 8 7-28 first OT 8 second OT 4 -39

Healdsburg – 13 6 5 4 -28 first OT 7 second OT 2- 37

The Redway Mustangs hold a winning streak of 14 consecutive wins as of Wednesday, February 2, putting them at 18-3 for the season. Be on the lookout for the stats of the next tournament they play at in Redwood Valley, the weekend of February 4-5.

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