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Macksville Mustangs moving up to Class 2A
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MACKSVILLE — The Macksville Mustangs endured a rare 7-15 record last year, but still pulled a 49-44 shocker against Otis-Bison in the substate semifinals. Skyline beat the Mustangs 42-27 in the Class 1A-Division 1 substate finals.
The Mustangs played a wide-open style keyed by 3-point shooting at the end of last season. The Mustangs are reloaded with four returning starters – point guard Alan Ibarra, Lane Sebes, Brigdon Russell and Diego Delgadillo. Guard Kreed Parr is a projected starter.
The Mustangs captured state basketball titles in 2006 and 2011.
“We hope that game experience pays off. Being that young, we got some weaknesses exposed and we hope we learn from that and have improved,” said Macksville coach Jeff Kuckelman. “We still have to be able to guard better. We have some players who can really shoot the ball, but we have to be able to do things to get our shots off. We have to attack the basket better and that will open more shots.
The youthful Mustangs were simply overpowered physically last season.
“Some of those weaknesses that were exposed were directly related to our lack of strength and toughness,” Kuckelman said. “A summer in the weight room will hopefully pay off. We hope another year of maturity can benefit us in the strength and toughness department.”
The Mustangs will be tested in the state’s toughest Class 2A basketball substate at St. John that features three-time state champion St. John, state runner-up Central Plains along with Coldwater-South Central, Ellinwood, Greensburg-Kiowa County, Macksville, Medicine Lodge and Pratt-Skyline.

For the second straight year, the Mustang girls were one victory away from their first state appearance since 1981. The Mustangs upset Fairfield 59-53 before losing to state qualifier LaCrosse 34-28 in the Class 1A substate finals. Two years ago, the underdog Mustangs stunned Pretty Prairie 32-29 and Fairfield 52-51 before losing to Victoria 45-25. The Mustang girls last made the state tournament in 1981.
Seniors Sophie Filbert, Emma Stimatze and Olivia Vosburgh sparked the Mustangs’ late-season run.
Macksville girls coach Chet Skinner likes to play a fast pace.
“Our preferred style of play going into the season with hopefully be a run-and-gun system,” he said. “I want to push the ball up the court and get after the teams defensively.”
Skinner’s goal is to show steady improvement in a rugged Central Prairie League. The St. John Class 2A substate features two-time state champion Central Plains, St. John,
Coldwater-South Central, Ellinwood, Greensburg-Kiowa County, Macksville, Medicine Lodge and Pratt-Skyline.
“Our goal will be to get better,” he said. “A balanced team, is hard to guard across the board. If we can find a couple girls inside and have a couple shooters hit from the outside. We can put some pressure on people.”

Class 1A Division-I
Central Prairie League
Boys head coach—Jeff Kuckelman 15th year (249-74)
Record last season—7-15 (2-6, 8th)

Alan Ibarra, 5-7, sr.; Lane Sebes, 6-2, sr.; Nathanial Miller, 6-6, sr.; Diego Delgadillo, 5-11, jr.; Brigdon Russell, 5-10, jr.; Bryce Casper, 6-1, jr.; Jarrod Kuckelman, 6-3, jr.; Jose Sandoval, 5-9, jr.; Adalberto Miranda, 5-8, jr.; Alex Freeman, 5-7, so.; Brandon Ibarra, 5-8, so.;  Kreed Parr, 5-8, so.; Trevor Freeman, 5-6, so.; Willie Penner, 5-8, so.; Darien Miller, 5-10, fr.; Kaleb Lickiss, 6-1, fr.; Karson Waters, 5-11, fr.

Girls head coach—Chet Skinner (2nd)
Record—8-14 (3-5, 4th)
Sophie Filbert, 5-6, jr; Mikeal Ann Loiland, 5-9, jr.; Perla Ibarra, 5-7, jr.; Emma Stimatze, 5-10, jr.; Olivia Vosburgh, 5-2, jr.; Lyset Ibarra, 5-3, so.; Denise Galan, 5-10, so.; Serena Blaske, 5-10, so.; Jenna Russell, 5-3, fr.; Braylynn Anshutz, 5-6, fr.; Lexas Wright, 5-6. fr.; Jennifer Ortiz, 5-4, fr.; Itzel Garcia, 5-4, fr.; Jacquelin Galan, 5-4, fr.

12-5—at Ness City
12-8 to 12-13—at Keady Classic, Larned
12-19—at Stafford
1-9—at Central Christian
1-13—at LaCrosse
1-19 to 1-24—at St. John Midwinter Classic
1-27 to 1-31—at Cunningham 54 Classic (girls)
2-10—at Kinsley
2-20—at. St. John
2-24—at Kiowa County
2-29 to 3-5—at St. John 2A substate