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California Blog 2011

Day 1
Greetings from San Diego! Well, our journey started at Mundelein High School. We met at 11 am and loaded up the bus and headed out to Midway Airport. We were surprised to see there were no long lines to get through security and we got to the gate with ease. The plane took off, and I have to say, it was a very bumpy ride to our layover in Denver.
We were in Denver for only one hour so we were unable to feel any Tebow mania. The plane took off without any problems, although we thought it was unfair that Mrs. Knar (all 5'3" of her) was able to acquire an exit row. She must know someone important!
 It was quite the day arriving here and we are very happy to be in the California sun. Although we did not get the opportunity to do much, everyone remained positive and upbeat throughout the journey. As a reward, the team was treated to some nice Domino's pizza and cinnamon sticks when we arrived at the hotel. As much as we want to stay up and chill, we have business to do tomorrow against a very challenging Calexico team.

Day 2
The team got up bright and early to a nice hot breakfast and later, had to travel to the Jackie Robinson YMCA to practice for our challenge at 4 o'clock. Everyone was a little winded after stretches and found out we still had an hour of practice left. After all, it was for the tough challenge ahead... We arrived at Granite Hills High School and were able to watch the game before us. Some of the players who have never been to San Diego were surprised to see the lockers and the hallways were outside! We actually had to walk outside to get to the locker room. Many of the players refused to wear their new shoes outside, so they wore sandals until we arrived in the gym.
 Now it was business. We were facing a team we did not know much  about. There was no scouting report on this  Calexico team. Coach Borucki would have been proud. We had to go out and get after someone. We had to control what we could. The Mustangs got out to a very hot start and the rest is history. An overall contribution was given from each person, but everything was trumped by Nate Brune's 12 points along with 9 points from Quinn Pokora and 8 points from Diamond Hood. Nothing more could have been asked from the coaches after the 77-34 victory.
We later gathered at a Panera Bread and indulged in a delicious meal. Later into the night proved to be quite the comedy sketch. Everything seemed fine when we entered the hot tub at the hotel until Thomas Gandolfi ran in screaming and jumped into the pool. Unfortunately, no one told poor Thomas that the pool would numb his legs to utter pain. It seemed like a huge ice bath and some people just could not resist. So the following ensued and everyone jumped in. Some dares were given and one of the fondest ones was Ryan Siron and Thomas seeing who could stay in longer. Thomas ended up winning and we had to call it a night because the hotel lady had to shut down the so-called "ice bath". It was time to get ready for tomorrow.

Day 3
The morning proved to be a little different from the previous ones because of Sean O'Brien and Quinn Pokora. Coach Knar and Coach Knigge get up early and they go to Panera For coffee. Coach Knar always gets a cinnamon roll and Coach Knigge gets a muffin. Sean and Quinn wanted to go with. After their trip to Panera, Sean and Quinn were a little "energetic" after waking up early to get breakfast. They decided to rudely awaken everyone, especially Diamond Hood, by jumping on beds and screaming loudly as if the room was on fire. I guess it helped with waking up everybody because the team was energetic for the rest of the day. This energy carried on into the trip to Torrey Pines, which is a prestigious basketball tournament for teams with invitations only.
Later in the day we played our game against Buhach Colony. It was close at first. We were up 1 point at the end of the first quarter and then built the lead to 14 by halftime. The team was playing well and then Sean O'Brien recorded his first career triple-double AND dunk. He had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 blocks. Robert Knar was the other player in double figures  with 16 points and 8 assists. The team was a little pumped after that (We could see that just by looking at his dunk on film 50 times). The final score was 86-54. Nothing much happened after the game except for us attending a nice meal at On the Border. We enjoyed ourselves and are focused on our semi-final game tomorrow.

Day 4
This morning we woke up and headed straight to the meeting room for film. All the while, people were half asleep looking like zombies carrying waffles to the room. One of these kids was Cliff Dunigan, whose afro was flattened completely on one side. It was quite the spectacle.
Since the coaches knew that we had some time till our game, they let us play UNO and other card games. Although it seemed a little boring, things picked up fast and we had a lot of fun with it. Some more film sessions ensued and we were off to play against Foothills Christian.
The team proved strong, but the Mustangs prevailed. The game ended with strong overall efforts from every player and especially Robert Knar, Sean O'Brien and Dylan Delaquila, who sank three three pointers throughout the game. Robert had 28 points to go along with 7 assists and 11 rebounds. Sean had another strong performance with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Cliff Dunigan had 10 rebounds and 8 points in the 75-42 victory.

 This game also proved to be a celebration and a present because Ryan Siron celebrated his 17 birthday. We treated him to a nice dinner at Olive Garden with dessert to end it. Tomorrow will be a big day because we are planning on bringing home the championship trophy!


Day 5

We won the championship! Buhach tried to do everything they could to slow us down, but their press was ineffective against our fast break.  It led to lay up after lay up as we rolled to a 110-77 victory. The day's highlights included Robert Knar recording 41 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. Also, another big contributor to the game was Quinn Pokora. He tallied 13 points and dished 5 assists to help the Mustangs to a championship. After the game, a 30 minute picture session ensued and we were itching to get out of there so we could get some post-game Denny's. Denny's was not the greatest midnight snack, but we did not mind because we took care of the business aspect of our trip and now it was time to have a little fun. We were informed that tomorrow we were heading to the famous San Diego Zoo.

Day 6

San Diego Zoo here we come! We arrived early so we could meet with the girls team and take a guided tour around the place before walking on foot. On the tour we saw some very interesting things like polar bears, elephants, camels, giraffes (which we fed), and rhinos. Did you know that camels have three eyelids? Neither did we, until we visited the zoo. Afterwards, we went in our assigned groups and walked around to see exhibits we found interesting. One of these was the panda exhibit, which held not only pandas, but red pandas! Also, we went on the sky lift and saw multiple animals from above, which included gorillas.

We left at five o'clock, which was supposed to be four, but Jordan Wiegold had to buy a little present for a special someone back home. It took a while, but we decided on a panda and koala bear.

Later in the day we attended a party with the girls basketball team to celebrate New Year's. Another fun fact we learned that day is the girls are a tad loud. We did not care though; it was for a good reason. After the crystal ball struck the bottom of the building, we bolted to our rooms to get away from the chaos and prepare for tomorrow. It was time to soak up the sun and get to the beach.

Day 7

I don't think I have ever seen our team so excited to finally get some sun. After the parents informed us that it was four degrees back home, we made sure that we took it all in as much as possible. If it meant sleeping on the beach all day and playing Gameboy (Diamond Hood), he was doing it to his full advantage because back home it would not be so hot. The ocean was another fun activity to jump into because of the temperature. It was basically a statement that you were not a wimp and could jump into the cold ocean. Actually, it was quite fun riding the waves for twenty feet once your body went numb. The other guys were watching from the beach playing catch with footballs and frisbees. Some guys were even asleep the whole time and did not say a word. We later headed out and went to watch our former teammate Ryan Sawvell play on national television against Northern Iowa. He ended up playing really well and got a win for the Purple Aces.

Later, some guys were still excited and wanted to see a movie, but they were denied because tomorrow would be a very fulfilling day. We would be touring a small city on the water, the Midway aircraft carrier.

Day 8

Aboard the Midway we learned how hard it sometimes was to live on a ship. The hallways were cramped and the beds were stacked three high. Also, you had to do what you said or else lots of things would go bad. This gave the coaches some ideas to make us follow directions. The coolest part was the flight deck and all the planes that inhabited it. We never knew so many things happened in the three minutes you had to take off. Also, the team learned that you get a little tired from walking across four acres of ship vessel. It really was a sight to see and we will never forget it.

After visiting the Midway, we got some food at In-and-Out Burger. Some kids were skeptical with the small menu at first, but once they sunk their teeth into the delectable burger they wanted more. We could not stay long because we had to go to the beach yet again and catch some rays before going home.

The same thing happened on the beach like the other day; kids shivering in the  water, guys playing catch and trying to miss the ball so it would fall next to some girls. Everything was really fun and we will never forget it.

Later in the night we attended Black Angus Steakhouse and received an awesome meal. A nice speech was given by our friend Mr. Ackley right before our meal. He talked about how good we have it and to never forget how gifted we are. It really was moving and a good way to end our trip because tomorrow we head out and end our journey in California. Although the word "school" seems a little weird right now, we all want to head back to Mundelein and see our families again.


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