Click Here To Go Back To The Previous Installment
Segment Number Twenty
Click Here To Go To The Very First Installment
Following our return from Richmond the 2003 Mustangs found themselves on the road to Maysville to take on the top
ranked Royals in a Wednesday night regular season game.  The Mustangs had lost to the Royals in the MCIT 69-52
after spotting the Royals fourteen points to start the game.  This one would be different.  The Mustangs were still
stinging from their loss to Frankfort and the Royals were starting to get just a little fat and sassy.  All of the ingredients
were there for a major upset.  The Mustangs gave it their best shot but still came up four points short 58-54.
The following report is a copy of the BMustangs account.
      BROSSART               5      14      18      17      -- 54
   at MASON COUNTY    12      10      16      20      -- 58

BROSSART (54): Rhoden 7 2 16, Kremer 2 4 10, McDole 4 2 10, Doyle 2 2 6, Orth 2 0 4, Henry 0 3 3, Smith 1 0 3,
                      Schenk 0 2 2.                                                 Totals 18 15 54.

MASON COUNTY (58): Litzinger 5 5 16, Lofton 5 2 13, Grutza 3 1 8, Myrick 2 4 8, Vice 2 0 6, Jones 1 2 4,
                                Gilbert 1 0 3.                                        Totals 19 14 58.

Three-pointers: B-Kremer 2, Smith. M-Vice 2, Litzinger, Lofton, Grutza, Gilbert.

Records: Mason County 22-2, Brossart 17-6.
Mustangs Cause Royals Serious Flashbacks
Royals Perservere in Nip and Tuck Thriller

The Brossart Mustangs closed the gap on the Mason County Royals from a 69-52 loss in the MCIT finals back on January 11th,
to a 58-54 near-miss earlier this evening in the Fieldhouse.  The Mustangs took a shot at the Royals, not their best shot, but a
good shot, after overcoming a 12-5 first quarter and 22-19 halftime deficit, to take the lead on several occasions in the second
half, the largest being 25-22 just after the half.  The Royals responded by grabbing the lead back 38-37 after three periods, and
the Mustangs would be outscored 20-17 in the final stanza to fall to Mason County 58-54.
Mustang misques could be counted on one hand in this contest, including two key failure to box off
events and two turnovers against the press which converted to six Royals points.  The vaunted
Mason County press, which back on January 11th accounted for the Royals amassing a 21-0 lead to
start the game while forcing numerous unforced turnovers, was solved tonight by the Mustangs who
in fact took advantage of the Royals pressure defense to obtain high percentage shots.
Shooting woes continue for the Mustangs.  Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse afte
r recording two 30% shooting performances in the first halves of our All "A" State Tournament games
vs Owen County and Frankfort, the Mustangs shooting percentage dropped like my stock portfolio,
to a new low of 20% on 6 of 29 shooting from the field in the first half of tonight's game.  The sad
part is that a majority of those shots were taken from in the paint or were outright layups.
The learnings from this game are that the Royals are human, can be defended, and high percentage
looks are available with good patient execution of our offenses.  Mustangs defense was sterling.  Royals Superstar Chris Lofton,
scored only 5 points throught the first three quarters of play, and was held scoreless by primary defender Rob Doyle, for over 18
minutes during the middle two quarters and a large part of the fourth.  Lofton did respond with 8 points when the game was on
the line down the stretch.  While it is Dustin Grutza who makes this team go, it was Jared Litzinger who put the hurt on the
Mustangs with 16 points.  Chris Lofton finished with 13 and Nathan Myrick 8, including a backdoor 3 point play late in the game
which put the Royals on top to stay.
Big Dawgs Derrick Rhoden and Evan McDole combined for 26 points, with Derrick Rhoden improving on his 13 points per game
average with 16, and Evan McDole chipping in 10 in a gritty blue-collar effort.  Andy Kremer also scored double figures with 10
points on two three-pointers and four of four from the line.
The Royals improve to 22-2, while the Mustangs drop to 17-6
.
A week later the NCC Thoroughbreds came to call at the SyCenter.  As with any Brossart - NCC Game the house was packed
and the place was rockin.  That is until the ball went up.  The two teams played cat and mouse for the best part of the first half,
with the Mustangs zone defense totally stymieing the Breds, holding them to an impotent four points in the first half.  The
Mustangs managed sixteen points for the same sixteen minutes, taking an twelve point lead to the locker-room at halftime.  
While the team and coaches were estatic that all of our defensive efforts had resulted in the Breds scoring only a single
field-goal, there was some rumbling from both teams' fans who were anxious for a game to break out.
Being a person whose two favorite teams are the Brossart Mustangs and whoever is playing NewCath, I rarely feel sympathy for
the oft-aloof Breds, but they were almost pathetic in their inability to attack the Mustangs zone in the first half.  Things didn't get
much better for them in the second half.  The final score of 41-25 sent both teams fans to the exits in a sleep-walk.  On normal
occasions if the Mustangs had defeated the Breds by sixteen points it would be cause for dancing in the streets, but the manner
in which this game was played sent everyone home in a ho-hum, mellow mood.  The NCC folks have even used this game
against us in their recruiting tactics asking potential Breds/Mustangs if that is the way they want to play for four years and offer
up NCC as a salvation from the boredom of a slowdown offense and defensive prioritized philosophy.  Maybe we just like to
win, and on that night the zone defense which we have rarely used before or since was the ticket.  The  pace picked up a few
nights later when the Mustangs traveled to Simon Kenton and upset the Number One ranked Pioneers.  I remember writing the
BMustangs article for that one asking the question "How Do You Like Us Now???"
Mustangs Beat NCC For Second Straight Year
Mustangs Hold Breds To One Field Goal and Four Points For First Half
Go On To Post 41-25 Win  -  Advance To 19-6
Jeff Henry (14) and Derrick Rhoden (13) Combine for 27 of Mustangs 41 Points
It was almost too easy.  Tonight the years of frustration and futility wrought by the NCC Thoroughbreds upon Mustang teams
past seemed far, far away.
The modern Schlarman era Mustangs evened the Brossart-NCC series at three apiece, beating the Breds 41-25, after holding
them to a mere field goal and two free throws for the first sixteen minutes of play.
For the first time this season, the Mustangs got serious about playing zone defense and the bottomline result was the sixteen
point victory over our arch-rivals from the Carothers Road Hill.
Senior Jeff Henry scored 14 points to lead all scorers on four two-point goals and a pair of
three-pointers, while teammate Junior Bigman Derrick Rhoden silenced his tormentors in the NCC
student section with five field goals, three free throws, and numerous blocked shots and rebounds.
They would have been better served just letting the Big Sleeping Dawg lie.
The Breds had no answer for the Mustangs defense nor Henry or Rhoden as the Mustangs were
never threatened in this one.  Brossart ran out to a 7-2 lead after the first quarter, which expanded to
16-4 by end of a half which put even the most ardent of Mustang and Thoroughbred fans into a slumber.  Action picked up in
the 3rd quarter as Brossart won the quarter 13-8 to increase the lead to 29-12 and coasted home to
the 41-25 win before a sellout crowd in the SyDome.
Brossart, now one win shy of our sixth twenty game winning season ever, has now won two of the last three and three of the
last five encounters with the Thoroughbreds.

BB Box Score:  Henry  4-2-0/0-14, Doyle 1-0-0/0-2, Orth 1-0-1/1-3, Smith 1-0-4/4-6, Rhoden 5-0-3/4-13, McDole 0-0-3/4-3
                    Total Mustangs:  12-2-11/13-41

NCC Box Score:  Zimmerman 0-3-0/0-9, Heil 1-0-0/1-2, Brewer 1-0-2/2-4, Koeninger 4-0-2/2-10
                      Total Breds:  6-3-4/5-25
How Do You Like Us Now???
Mustangs Upset State's Number Eighteen
Ranked Simon Kenton Pioneers 59-56 On
Their Floor On Their Senior Night
Become Only The Sixth Team In Mustang History To Win Twenty Games
All season-long Coach Schlarman awaited a quality win over a quality opponent.  On Fridy night, February 28th his Mustangs
delivered by knocking off the top ranked Simon Kenton Pioneers in Independence.    In addition to being ranked number one in
Northern Kentucky the Pioneers were holding down the Number Eighteen ranking in the State.  The Mustangs rained all over the
Pioneers Senior Night beating them 59-56 and winning our twentieth game of the season in the process.
Basketball is a game of incredible highs and depressingly lows, in which you are only as good as your last game.  The Mustangs
didn't feel good about themselves after our loss to St. Henry on Tuesday night, BUT, became a very good team again tonight
after upending the State's Number 18th Ranked Simon Kenton Pioneers in their house on their senior night.
The Mustangs fell behind early 10-4 and it looked like more of the same, before the visitors said "Nada" and rallied to close the
gap to 15-16 by the end of the first quarter.  By the half Brossart had taken the lead 27-26 and you somehow felt that the
Mustangs would find a way to take this one to the wire.
After falling behind by three to start the second half 29-32, the Mustangs would rally to take over the
lead 34-32, and push it to 36-32 before again falling behind for the last time 36-37 with 2:07 remaining
in the third quarter.  Two Derrick Rhoden buckets and a pair of Jeff Henry threes would propel the
Stangs to a 45-39 lead to end the third quarter from which the Mustangs would never again trail.  The
Mustangs would lead by as much as eight at 47-39 early on in the fourth quarter but would see the
Pioneers force the issue at 57-56 with 17.1 seconds remaining after a Kevin Smith layup was answered
by a banked-in Eric Reed three-pointer.  Smitty was fouled on the ensuing inbounds play and stepped to
the line and knocked in two key free throws to up the Mustang margain to 59-56 with 9.7 seconds left
for the Pioneers to try to get the game to OT.   The 'Neers got two shots at sending it to extra innings,
but a rebound as time expired preserved the Mustangs win and give Coach Willie Schlarman his first
win over Simon Kenton in his six year tenure as head coach of the Mustangs.  In the past the Mustangs
had fallen to the Pioneers, once by 3 points, and twice in Overtime.
The win tonight was twice as sweet since the Pioneers are considered to be one of the leading
candidates to represent the 9th Region in the State Tournament at Rupp and because they are presently
among the top twenty teams in the State, ranked Number 18.
Division One, EKU signee, Mike Brock scored 21 points, but it was Eric Reed, who was in a potentially dangeous car wreck the
morning of the game, who would lead the Pioneers with 23 points, hitting on five threes to keep his team in the game.
Sophomore Kevin Smith may have well graduated from basketball"baby" status tonight, by scoring the last six points of the
contest, including the the two key "blue chip" free throws which provided the Mustangs the safety net points required to force
the 'Neers to shoot the threes at the end of the game.
Jeff Henry was named the "Player of the Game" as a result of his three 3s and an overall 15 point night.  Derrick Rhoden led the
Mustangs with 17 points on 7 field goals and 3 freebies.
The win is the twentieth of the regular season for the Mustangs who improve to 20-7 and drops the Pioneers to 19-8 after
averaging 80 points over their last four ballgames (Boone 81, Campbell Co 84, Scott 85, Holmes 72.).

Box Score:  Kremer 0-1-4/4-7, Henry 3-3-0/0-15, Doyle 1-0-0/0-2, Orth 2-0-2/2-6, Rhoden 7-0-3/6-17,
                McDole 1-0-0/0-2,  Smith 4-0-2/4-10                           Totals Mustangs:  18-4-11/16-59

Pioneers:    Reed 23, Brock 21, Kannady 7, Clarke 5                       Totals Pioneers:  9-8-14-17-56
Click Here To Go Back To The Next Installment