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Twin Magic: Baymans & Mendenhalls bring one last push to Woodlan basketball

January 18, 2020

 

 


When Woodlan hosts its first Allen County Athletic Conference Tournament doubleheader in 5 years on Tuesday, January 14, the Warriors will include a double feature of their own at Elmer Strautman Gymnasium.

The Baymans (Addison and Aiden) and the Mendenhalls (Kate and Mitchell) are a pair of girl/boy twins suiting up for Woodlan in the state’s longest-running conference basketball tournament.

“We have two sets of twins, and you really never see that. It’s really cool to have that,” Kate, born before Mitchell, tells ParkviewSportsMedicine.com. “Mitchell and I have never been in the same class. So, we’ve never really been around each other a lot. We’re both really competitive. I really do want to see him do well, because he’s a much better player than I am.”

Twin Magic
Left to right: Addison & Aiden Bayman, Mitchell & Kate Mendenhall

What may be rare for many teams is commonplace at Woodlan Junior-Senior High School: the Baymans and Mendenhalls are two of the six sets of twins in the Warrior Class of 2020. These particular four seniors have played together since fourth grade, often taking on—and even beating—all-boy squads along the way. Collectively, they have navigated youth, junior high and the high school varsity levels of basketball together.

“I think it’s enstilled the rivalry between the boys and the girls," Addison adds. "I think in the last four years, the way we’ve built off each other has really shown the other kids how to compete.”

Baymans

Addison has developed into one of the top girls basketball players in Northeast Indiana. When she tallied her 1,000th career point December 13 in a win over Bluffton, Aiden presented her with the milestone ball while wearing a homemade T-shirt to further highlight the accomplishment.

“It’s always competitive,” Aiden describes his relationship with his older sister. “When she does something in one game, it fuels me to do something better.”

Addison has already signed to play college basketball at Spring Arbor University, an NAIA school in Michigan. As for Aiden, Kate and Mitchell, their high-level playing days may be coming to an end, which makes this last semester as Woodlan student-athletes even more precious.

“It’s more than just a teammate,” Mitchell reflects. “It’s a friend; it’s family. You play more together with your family and friends. You’re always competing, you always want to be better than each other.”

For the Mendenhalls, Woodlan truly is family - and basketball is in their blood. One of the twins’ older brothers previously played for Woodlan. Their parents, Ray and Kristen (née Hermann), both won sectional championships at Woodlan in the mid-1980s. Their extended family includes Indiana Basketball Hall of Famers Murray Mendenhall Sr. and Murray Mendenhall Jr

Mendenhalls

“It’s our school. It’s where we grew up. It’s our community. We all know each other very well everybody. We’re very familiar with the area. It’s just very important to us," Kate says.

Woodlan will host a doubleheader against Jay County on Tuesday, January 14 in the ACAC Tournament quarterfinals. The semi-finals will be played Friday, January 17 with the conference tourney title game slated Saturday at South Adams. Consolation games will be played January 18 at Bluffton.

2020 marks the the 97th annual boys tournament and the 46th annual girls tournament.

Woodlan is one of 26 high schools that partners with Parkview Sports Medicine for athletic training, nutrition, sports performance training, athletic rehab and other sports medicine services for Warrior student-athletes. Learn more at ParkviewSportsMedicine.com.


 

written and produced by Eric Dutkiewicz, Parkview Sports Medicine

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