This December will mark the second year the Menomonie boys basketball team has participated in the four-team holiday tournament, competing with River Falls, D.C. Everest and Tomah.
In the past, the BRC has played Wisconsin Valley schools during the holiday break, but that came to a close last year.
The Mustangs hosted the tournament last year in its inaugural debut, where Menomonie fell 56-53 to D.C. Everest in overtime before being defeated 56-42 by Tomah.
Head coach Matt Riley and the Mustangs are aiming for some redemption as they head to Tomah on Thursday for the two-day competition.
“We are going down to Tomah with the mindset to compete with two good basketball teams,” Riley said. “I am looking forward to playing back-to-back games to help us prepare for the playoffs.”
He noted that the competition will be fierce, as Tomah is a senior-led team that is currently playing solid basketball, and is currently 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the Mississippi Valley Conference. They have also played two Big Rivers Conference (BRC) teams this season, where they lost to Chippewa Falls by just six points and then defeated Eau Claire Memorial 55-49.
D.C. Everest is also on par for a strong season, having won their last three games and are currently 4-1 and leading the Wisconsin Valley Conference at 2-0.
Currently, the Mustangs have yet to clinch a victory this season, but have been extremely close on multiple occasions, including a one-point loss to Memorial in the season opener (52-51) on Nov. 28 and a four-point loss (52-48) to New Richmond on Dec. 19. They most recently dropped a nonconference game against the Superior Spartans (2-3) last Thursday at home.
It will be a challenging dual-game tournament for the Mustangs, as they have been fighting tooth and nail to come out on top in their first eight games.
Menomonie will first play Tomah on Thursday, followed by D.C. Everest on Friday. Menomonie will not play River Falls, who are currently tied in the BRC with Chippewa Falls at three games to one. They are projected to matchup against D.C. Everest on Thursday and Tomah on Friday.
The tournament is projected to be held at D.C. Everest High School next year and at River Falls High School in 2019.