Athlete of the Week: Melrose-Mindoro girls basketball

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COLFAX, Wis. (WEAU) - Melrose-Mindoro high school serves about 200 students and despite their size, the Mustangs girls basketball team continues to take Division 4 by storm. They’re ranked No. 2 in the state, they’re off to a 10-0 start to the year and they haven’t lost a regular season game since February 4, 2016.

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“You know, we’ve certainly got a target on our back and we realize that," said Melrose-Mindoro head coach Joey Arneson. "Something we don’t talk – it’s one of those stats we don’t talk about. Something we’re very proud of though. It’s been a long time since we lost in the regular season, but we worry about each game. Every game we take it game by game and we just look forward to the next opponent.”

Part of their recent success has to do with the tremendous talent of their upperclassmen. Juniors Emily Herzberg and Mesa Byom have committed to play Division-I college basketball at South Dakota State, seniors Katie Christopherson and Erika Simmons will be playing in the WIAC after signing with UW-Stout and UW-Whitewater respectively over the weekend, and junior Calette Lockington has a D-I offer from UW-Milwaukee.

“It’s actually amazing and from such a small town and for all that talent to be on the same team you get to play with each other it’s such a blessing,” explained Mustangs junior forward Mesa Byom.

“Having them all together on a team our size is very rare," added coach Arneson. "I tell the girls all the time, ‘Live in the moment. Enjoy this. This doesn’t happen very often.’”

With a starting five that all average double figures scoring it’s no surprise that the Mustangs have only lost one game in each of the past two seasons. Both of those losses have come in the playoffs to Aquinas, the top-ranked team in the state. Mel-Min is anxious to square off with the Blugolds again after finishing their last meeting as 2018 state runner-ups.

“Obviously that’s the team we want to get to," said Mustangs junior guard/forward Emily Herzberg. "They’ve ended both of our seasons, but that’s the goal. That’s the ultimate goal I guess. So, we just want to work on being the best we can be when we get there so if we were to get there we would have a chance and maybe take the dub this time.”

We’re still a ways away from the state tournament in March, but the Mustangs are playing with so much confidence and look virtually unstoppable. They’re not concerned about going undefeated this season, but they’re prepared to make it back to the Resch Center and hopeful to bring home the program’s first gold ball.