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The Forest City boys basketball team had only three losses this season as they came into Friday night’s game against West Hancock. The Indians started the year 6-0 before falling by five points to West Hancock Eagles on Dec. 14.

With that loss one of few smudges on their season, and a crucial matchup against Bishop-Garrigan on Tuesday, the Indians got some vengeance Friday night, beating the Eagles 59-49.

Senior Avery Busta was all over the floor for the Indians, scoring 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting, along with seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Coach Dan Rosacker raved about him after game, in regards to both Busta’s leadership and explosive style play.

“He played almost every position on the court,” Rosacker said. “We posted him up, we put him inside, he played point guard, he knocked down 3’s, he guarded their best player, and he had a phenomenal game for us.”

Busta is a threat for the opposing team in almost every spot on the floor, and it isn’t just by brute force. He prepares for the games in a way that Rosacker hopes the rest of his team will emulate.

“He studies the game,” Rosacker said. “He’s just a competitor. Competitiveness is the biggest thing, because no matter what you’re doing with Avery, he’s just going to compete win, and go all out. He came out of the game for just a minute or two in the second quarter, but other than that he was on the floor the entire game. He’s a vocal leader for us off the court, as well as on the court. He just does everything for us.”

The Indians have been one of the surprises in the Top of Iowa Conference this year, playing to a 14-3 record after losing 10 seniors to graduation at the end of last season. His less-seasoned squad has been a pleasant revelation for Rosacker. He credits the leadership of his upperclassmen, such as Busta, as a big reason his team has been able to sustain their success this year.

“They’ve exceeded my expectations, for sure.” Rosacker said. “We have great leadership in the couple of seniors that we do have. Avery Busta, I can’t say enough about that kid, and the young guys have come along. They’ve put themselves in a position where, if you’d told me in June that we were going to be in this position, I’d have taken it in a heartbeat. But these guys have really come together to play hard. They sometimes aren’t pretty, and we’re not going to blow people out, but we’re going to find ways to win.”

Sophomore Noah Miller also had a big game for the Indians, scoring 15 points with four assists, and two steals. Micah Lambert dominated on the boards, collecting 12 rebounds.

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