Jan. 14—LAMOURE — After tearing his posterior cruciate ligament during a baseball game in July, LaMoure/Litchville-Marion's Max Musland was forced to miss the football season and it was not a guarantee that he would play basketball for the Loboes this season.
"I really shouldn't be playing basketball right now," Musland said. "At first, I was supposed to have surgery that would put me out for a year but apparently, it could heal on its own and that's what it did. So, I'm doing well now."
In recovering from his injury, Musland did physical therapy two to three times a week and was forced to wear a knee brace.
"I just learned not to take anything for granted," Musland said. "At any time all your ability can be gone, kind of like with my PCL."
Musland is averaging 15.6 points per game on 34% shooting with 42 total rebounds and 13 total assists, through seven games.
"Max is a leader for us," Loboes head coach Tyler Thielges said. "He's a gym rat, he earns all the accolades and success that he has on the court. I don't think it's a secret that he's our best scorer, our go-to guy when things get tight. He's an excellent defender which he probably doesn't get enough credit for because he's so skilled on offense. But he plays the front of our defense and his length disrupts other teams. He gets a lot of deflections and steals throughout the course of a game that leads to transition opportunities for our offense as well."
As of Jan. 12, Musland and the Loboes sit at 4-3 and are on a three-game winning streak.
"We just keep showing up and working hard in practice every day," Musland said. "We know we're not going to get better if we don't show up and get outside of our comfort zone every day."
After a third-place finish at the state tournament in the 2022-23 season, the Loboes lost three players who averaged 6 points per game or more in Landon Piehl, Charlie Bowman and Corban Potts. Last season, Potts led the team in scoring with 14.1 points per game and was followed by Musland at 12.4 points per game.
Musland said there is not a huge difference between the team's former head coach Darren Thielges and current head coach Tyler Thielges. Musland said the two share a similar coaching style that is predicated on working hard on both sides of the floor with an emphasis on the defensive side of the ball.
"He was still our coach last year, he was just the assistant," Musland said. "It was our coach's son, so we kind of do all the same things. It's honestly just a little more intense. That's about the only difference but I think that's a good thing."
Over his three years with the Loboes, Musland said he has physically grown and gotten stronger and has hopes of being the best player in Loboes history when he graduates. Thielges said Musland's dedication and being in his weighlifting class and the school's speed and acceleration program have helped him grow as a player.
Thielges said Musland's best skill is his shooting and his defense but he needs to be a more vocal leader.
"I do think going forward now that he is our go-to guy in a lot of ways, he's gotta improve in the leadership category," Thielges said. "He's gotta be a little more vocal, a little more assertive. He needs to make sure himself and his teammates are ready for big games, which they all are big games."
As the Loboes prepare to play Richland at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, Musland said his goals for the rest of the season are more team focused than individually focused.
"My individual goal is just to get better over the course of the year," Musland said. "Our team goals are to win regions and then go on and win (the) state (tournament)."