Mullen basketball carries on the legacy of former coach

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MULLEN, Neb. (KNOP)- On February 24th, the town of Mullen and its basketball community said goodbye to Rusty Moore, who passed away from cancer at the age of 46.

The Mullen bench looks on during a game against Medicine Valley. (Credit: Sam Pirozzi/KNOP-TV)

In the time since, both the girls and boys basketball teams have won their district tournaments and are on their way to states. Less than 24 hours after the passing of the former coach who led the Mullen boys team to their first ever state title in 2017, the Broncos picked up a dramatic 45-44 win over Medicine Valley. In what can only be described as fate, Rusty's son, Clayton, got a piece of a blocked shot at the buzzer to secure the win.

"It meant a lot, I'm glad we could do it for him. I played every single second for him, so glad we could come away with a win," said Clayton Moore after the game.

Clayton's older sister, Samantha, is a member of the Mullen girls basketball team and is one of the teams leading scorers. She led the Broncos to a district championship on Friday night, earning their second straight trip to the state tournament.

For all Rusty did on the court, it's the man he was off of it that people will remember him by.

"Rusty gave everything he had and I think that's the impact he'll leave on everybody that met him, worked with him and just knew him," said Rusty's brother, Justin.

Rusty was also described as someone who played a father figure role in lives of the people who weren't even his children.

"He showed us all what it meant to be a loving, caring guy. He got to know everybody individually and he didn't care who you were, he got to know you," said Alli Lughren, a member of the Mullen cheerleader team.

Rusty is survived by his wife and four children.