This season’s Mora Mustangs boys basketball team is a team “in depth” this season, a group of varsity players who maintain a high level of play and have the potential of being starters.
“We talk about things ‘clicking,’ things going together in the right order, and I think the gears are starting to mesh,” said head coach Curt Grachek. “Our players are getting comfortable relying on each other. For example, the guys are trusting that the player coming in will play as hard as the one he replaces. We’re starting a deeper team than usual, and the guys coming off the bench are close to being starters themselves.”
After 13 games the Mustangs hold a 9-4 record, third place in the Granite Ridge Conference and seventh in Section 6AA. They’ve won eight of their last nine games and assembled a six-game winning streak, including a 49-40 win this week over longtime rival Aitkin.
Last year Mora finished at 10-16, eighth in the GRC and 13th in the section, and were eliminated from postseason play with a loss to Spectrum.
This year the Mustangs face strong competition, Grachek said. “We have a number of top-10 teams in our section, and this isn’t an easy conference either. We’re kind of in the ‘meat grinder’ stretch of our season; but that isn’t all bad, because I think we have everything we need. Our guys are comfortable, confident, at ease with the game on the floor.”
“Ben Wright, a junior, has shown himself to be a quality player this year. He’s let himself play more aggressively and consistently. I think he’s scoring 17 points a game so far.”
Grachek is as confident in his players as they are in themselves. “We’re a fun team to watch,” he said. “We’ve had four losses but they’ve all been close; none of them have been blowouts. And we’re a different team now than we were in those games. Come out any night, and you’ll see an exciting game.”
After the Mustangs traveled to Zimmerman on Jan. 21 they return home to host Albany on Friday, Jan. 24 and St. Cloud Cathedral on Jan. 28.