MENDON, Ill. (WGEM) -- There was an excitement level in Mendon not felt in some time following last week's MVIT basketball tournament.
That's because Unity laid claim on the championship for the first time since the event was reinstated 15 years ago.
The one-point victory over Payson was a bit of revenge for the Mustangs who were four-point losers to the Indians in last season's title game.
This year's magnificent run, which featured three wins in three nights, gave Keith Carothers squad double digit victories before the end of the calendar year and seems to have provided the team an extra boost.
"Our intensity and our effort, we've just been putting in the practice time and getting it done," senior forward Andrew Doyle said.
"Everyone is contributing and we don't have just one man that scores. Whoever is open gets the ball and they put it in the hole."
According to senior forward Thomas Donley, "I think we've always had the talent, just not the mental aspect of it and the last couple of weeks it's come together."
Donley says winning the MVIT was certainly a step in the right direction.
"It's huge. We haven't won it since they reinstated it. To be the first one to do that, that's pretty special."
Unity (10-5) has crossed the mid-way point of the regular season with twice as many wins as they have losses, and they've done so without a complete roster. Most notably, the roster has been void of injured senior guard Reed Bentzinger for the better part of the last month.
Carothers feels his team will be even more lethal when they're at full strength.
"Even (last) summer we had guys constantly each week that were hurt, or sick, or guys that were gone. We haven't had a real good look at what this could really be if we have everybody healthy all at once," Carothers explained.
"It will be scary (because) we have a pretty solid club right now and it could be even better."
Junior center Lane Davis says no matter the health concerns, the Mustangs hope to build off their momentum.
"I feel like we have a lot more energy and we're coming along a lot better than we were," Davis indicated.
"There for a while we were pretty lazy and slow, and now we're starting to pick it up and play more as a team."
After a week off the Mustangs return to the floor Saturday with a trip to Warsaw to take on West Hancock in the start to the Hancock County Tournament. It begins a stretch in which they will play eight games in 20 days.
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