The Mabel-Canton boys' basketball team hosted two games last week and traveled to neighboring Spring Grove for a third.

Mabel-Canton vs. Rushford-Peterson

The Cougars hosted state-ranked (No. 8) R-P on Monday, Feb. 4, losing 44-71.

Smothering defense limited Mabel-Canton to 14 percent (2 of 14) shooting success from three-point territory and 35 percent (14 of 40) from two-point land. M-C went to the foul line far more often, hitting 10 of 25 attempts. The Cougars only committed 7 fouls, and R-P hit 2 of 6 from the stripe. The Trojans cashed in by draining 29 percent of their treys (7 of 24) and 56 percent of their 2 point field goals (24 of 43).

The turnover tussle was close. M-C had 18 while R-P committed 19. The Trojans did enjoy a substantial edge on the backboards (46 to 29), giving them a 67 to 54 edge in shot attempts. R-P also did some fancy passing, totaling 16 assists as a team. The Cougars only had 6 assists.

Rushford-Peterson led 41-20 at the half.

Noah Manning hit the net for 15 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, and had 4 steals. Justin Ward scored 8 points, as did Hunter Johnson. The pair also had 4 rebounds each. Donnie Lind had 5 points, 4 rebounds. Dustin Kerns came off the bench for 3 points, 3 rebounds. Collin O'Bieglo and Mac Nelson each had 2 points. O'Bieglo also dished out 2 assists with no turnovers, and grabbed 2 rebounds. Nelson had 3 boards. Jon Selness came in for 1 point and 1 rebound.

Charlie Krambeer led the Trojans with 17 points. Austin O'Hare had a team-high 6 boards.

Mabel-Canton at Spring Grove

Spring Grove defeated M-C 91-51 on Feb. 5. The Lions hit 58 percent overall from the field, 65 percent from two-point territory in their best shooting effort of the season.

After pouring in 35 three-point baskets during the previous three games against zone defenses, the Lions dribbled inside for 35 points against the Cougar man-to-man defense last Tuesday. Those forays inside led to 25 Cougar fouls and 21 Lion trips to the line. Spring Grove then hit 24 of 37 from the charity stripe. Lion defenders only sent the Cougars to the foul line a paltry four times where M-C hit 5 of 7 free throws.

Although the Lions did not shoot often from the perimeter, they shot well (5 for 11, 45 percent). M-C was an acceptable 4 for 13 (31 percent) from beyond the arc and a good 45 percent overall.

Spring Grove ball handlers had 13 giveaways on the night, while the always-aggressive Lion defense engulfed M-C ball handlers resulting in 30 lost possessions for the Cougars.

The Cougars never led but hit some tough shots and remained within single digits until an Alex Engelhardt three-pointer sent Spring Grove into halftime up by 11 (43-32). The Lions opened the second half with a 15-4 run and had only one turnover during their final 31 possessions.

Lion eighth-grader Chase Grinde, who was not even on the varsity roster when the teams met on December 1, was off the bench early in the rematch. He hit 9 of 13 shots (69 percent) to lead all scorers with a career-high 25 points.

The KFIL-Radio Players of the Game were O'Bieglo for M-C and senior point guard Blaine Storlie for SG. O'Bieglo shared Cougar scoring honors with Johnson (13 points each). Storlie hit 6 of 10 shots from the field for 19 points.

Other Cougar scoring included Richert and Manning who hit for 8 points each. Manning contributed 4 points. Kerns had 3 points, and Logan Henry 2.

Lion sophomore guard Dustin Vickerman was the KFIL Game Ball Winner with 13 points.

The Cougars were most competitive on the backboards where Spring Grove held a thin 24 to 21 edge in rebounds. M-C junior Mac Nelson led all players with 9 grabs off the glass.

Both teams are young. M-C starts 5 juniors and has only one senior and a few sophomores for depth. Spring Grove has 2 freshmen and an eighth grader in a 7-player rotation.

Mabel-Canton versus Lyle/Pacelli

On Friday, L/P visited Mabel. The Athletics edged M-C 71-70 in a nail-biter. The Cougars had gotten themselves back into the contest in the second period, eliminating a 38-27 L/P lead at the half.

With just 6.9 seconds left to play, senior guard David Diang hit the go-ahead free throw for the Athletics. A buzzer-beater by M-C missed, as did the put-back.

Lind scored 16 points, snagged 7 rebounds, and blocked a shot. Johnson and Ward each added 14. Both had 6 rebounds. Ward passed for 10 assists with only 7 turnovers. O'Bieglo and Manning contributed 7 points apiece. Manning had 9 rebounds and 4 assists with only 1 turnover. He also nabbed 2 steals. O'Bieglo had 4 rebounds. Mac Nelson scored 6 points and led the team on the backboards, with 12 rebounds. Wenthold and Wes Richert had 3 points each. Wenthold also had 3 rebounds.

Diang led L/P with 27 points. Braden Kocer scored 12 and Jordan Cotter 10.

Both teams hit 24 2-point field goals, with M-C taking just one more shot (46) than L/P from standard range. From beyond the 3-point line, M-C hit 8 of 18 while L/P got 3 of 9.

With a razor-thin margin, everything (especially foul shots) has a way of counting. L/P attempted 11 more free-throws than M-C and also hit a higher percentage from the charity stripe. The Athletics went 14 of 29 (48 percent) from the line, while the Cougars hit 7 of 18 (39 percent).

Rebounds favored the Cougars, who out-boarded the Athletics 21-8 on the offensive glass and 26-13 on the defensive end. Turnovers were costly for the home team, however. M-C had 23 lost possessions while L/P had 11.

Up next:

On Tuesday, Feb. 12, the Cougars host Hope Lutheran. Two days later they travel to Schaeffer Academy. Monday, February 18 is another away game, versus TRC opponent St. Charles. The final regular season game is on Feb. 22, when Houston is scheduled to visit M-C.

Southeast Conference 2013

BOYS Basketball conf. season


Spring Grove * 15 - 0 17 - 4

Lanesboro 15 -1 16 - 4

Hope Lutheran 5 -11 9 -13

Mabel-Canton 4 -11 4 -17

Houston 1 -13 1 -20

* defending division champion


Grand Meadow 11- 4 13 - 8

Lyle/Pacelli 10 - 5 12 - 9

Schaeffer Academy 9 - 6 12 - 9

Glenville-Emmons* 3 -11 4 -17

LeRoy-Ostrander 2 -13 3 -18