Return of the J’s: Mustangs Win


Macy Eskelsen

Joey Rhomberg shoots free throws against Beckman Catholic on Feb 4.

Macy Eskelsen

The Mount Vernon Mustangs beat the Beckman Catholic Blazers 59-52 with the help of three players returning from injury: junior Jensen Meeker, sophomore Joey Rhomberg, and sophomore Jackson Kutcher.

The Stangs wasted no time scoring, Meeker had a steal and breakaway layup to score the first points of the game. “I felt like that was a really big play that started the 7-0 run at the start of the game,” said Meeker.

The Mustang defense was stifling, not allowing a field goal until the 6:16 mark in the second quarter. “We wanted to help early and often on defense and attack their two best players,” said Coach Derek Roberts. The team was in constant motion on defense, doubling up on those two players before returning to their own assignment.

With 5:35 left in the second quarter, Kutcher scored his first career points with a three-pointer from the corner, pushing the Mustang lead to 8. Kutcher broke his arm in the first game of his freshman year and missed the whole season and then broke his arm in practice at the start of this season. “Before the game, I was really nervous but after I checked in I felt a lot better,” said Kutcher. The Blazers stormed back to retake the lead going into halftime, 22-17.

Kutcher hit another three at the 3:30 mark in the third to recover the Mustang lead, 32-30. “It took a few minutes of feeling it out before I got back into a rhythm,” he said. Those few minutes don’t appear on the final stat line however, as Kutcher was perfect from outside the arc finishing with 9 points.

The rest of the third quarter was back and forth but ended with Joey Rhomberg’s free throws to command a lead at the break. “I never liked missing a game or practice so it was great to be back tonight. It’s so fun to go out and compete with the guys I grew up playing with,” said Rhomberg.

Sophomore Evan Brase put up a new career-high Friday night with 22 points, 18 coming in the second half.

“Beckman is really good defensively, we wanted to look to drive against their pressure and we did a great job of that in the second half,” said Roberts. Brase was often found open across the lane from his teammate driving to the hoop. His free throws in the final minute pushed the Mustangs further away from the Blazers, closing out the 59-52 win.

Mount Vernon was led by Brase with 22, Kutcher added 9, Meeker 8, Rhomberg 7, Brady Erickson 6, Zach Fall 4, Ryan Naeve 3. Rebounding was topped by Rhomberg with 12, Brase grabbed 6, Meeker and Fall 3, Kutcher, Erickson, and Naeve 1.