KEYC - Experience/Unselfish Attitude Fueling Mankato East's Success

Experience/Unselfish Attitude Fueling Mankato East's Success

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The state ranked  Mankato East boys' basketball team is a perfect 10–0 this season  with impressive wins against Rochester John Marshall  and Orono in the past week.

"It's just exciting for everyone, we just came out and played our game, and took off from there. We came out, played tough, and we got the win," said Edmon Oyet, Mankato East senior.

"It's perfect momentum for us, it's a confidence booster, it proves to us and others that we're a solid team. As we play these better teams and have these better games, we try to take that with us, have that under our belt and understand how to beat tough teams," said Damani Hayes, Mankato East senior.

"We've got so many tough games coming up, and you can't pat yourself on the back, you've got to just look for the next game. We still want to get better. We don't think we're even nearly as good as we can get, we're not there yet, and I think these guys understand that," said Joe Madson, Mankato East head coach.

Behind the Cougars success this season  is an unselfish group littered with experience.

"Whoever has the hot hand, that's going to be the person with the ball, nobody cares if somebody has 20 or 15 or whatever it is. We love sharing the ball, and love seeing our teammates succeed. I'm a big team guy and that's a big thing for me," said Hayes.

"Everybody's sharing the ball really well. We communicate really well, and we get things done together, and do it as a team," said Oyet.

"We're really deep this season, we have a lot of guys that can score and create on offense, we're real versatile that way. On defense, we all focus on locking in, defense is a big part for us throughout our team, and we have a lot of people that can create and score the ball," said Hayes.

That dynamic offense has the Cougars firing on all cylinders through the first part of the season  featuring some great chemistry that's been building over the years.

"It's been real fun because we played together, and we watched each other grow since freshman year. Now that we're all together it's fun since we're seniors," said Uhana Ochan, Mankato East senior.

A 10–0 record is a nice start, but Mankato East hopes to return to the state tournament for the second time in four years.

"It would be amazing, but we've got a ways to go before we're there. We've got to focus on the short term goals at the moment," said Hayes.

"If you're talking about down the road, we've got Big 9, have to get by a lot of schools there. Some really good teams in our conference so you're talking about our goals are conference title, section title, and win the state tournament. Our guys have that in mind, we want to win the Big 9, win the section tournament and win the state tournament," said Madson.

The Cougars hit the floor again on Tuesday  on the road against one of the top five teams in Class AAA the undefeated Austin Packers.

We'll have more from Mankato East later this week on KEYC News 12.