LIBERAL, Kan. Finding each other on the court is like clock work for Liberal’s point guard and post dynamic duo in seniors Katie Horyna and Machia Mullens.
They’ve been playing basketball together since the third grade.
“You have that person that knows how to motivate you and get onto you without getting you down, we can tell each other ‘hey, let’s go’ and we pick each other up,” said Mullens. “It’s always competing, she wants to be the best, I want to be the best, we just push each other.”
Together, they’ve helped build a program that’s one of the best in the state right now. Liberal is 16-0 and will play for its fourth straight WAC title Friday. To end their high school careers, they’ll look to make their third state appearance in four years.
“We have five weeks left in our season and you can look at the calendar and see all the games we have left,” said Horyna. “I’m really excited for the end to see how far we can go but I’m also sad because it’s my last time playing with all of them.”
With the end nearing, it’s a bittersweet feeling as the two will soon part ways to pursue their life long dream of playing DI basketball.
Horyna is committed to Abilene Christian and Mullens to UMKC.
“We were the first two girls from our program to go straight to a DI and it motivates our teammates they know they can do it as well,” said Mullens.
Their coach said they inspire far more than just their teammates.
“The kids in southwest Kansas, they’re starting to dream about going to play college basketball,” said Liberal head coach Carter Kruger. “They’re putting the work in like these two did.”