Noah Manning stretches out to snag a rebound versus Spring Grove last week.
Noah Manning stretches out to snag a rebound versus Spring Grove last week.
A pair of road trips kept the Mabel-Canton boys busy during New Year's week. Thursday night found the basketball team in Spring Grove for a local rivalry and the following night, the Cougars traveled to Hope Lutheran.

Mabel-Canton at Spring Grove

On Thursday, the Cougars headed down Highway 44 for a game at Spring Grove. The Lions were ready for them and bounced back from two straight non-conference losses, defeating Mabel-Canton, 68-46.

With 38 total rebounds, Spring Grove (SG) nabbed 20 offensive boards while M-C managed only 22 total rebounds.

The Cougars shot reasonably well (45 percent), but with that rebounding deficit and 27 turnovers, could not keep up. SG only turned the ball over 14 times and hit a solid 36 percent from three-point range (5 for 14). The Lions were effective getting inside with the dribble for 22 points. They also outscored the Cougars 19-2 in transition.

Spring Grove attempted 20 more shots from the field and 13 more free throws than M-C, but the Lions made only 11 of 25 free throws (44 percent). The Cougars had similar difficulties at the line, sinking just 41 percent (5 of 12) from the charity stripe.

Donnie Lind led Cougar scorers with 10 points. The junior forward also had three blocked shots, three rebounds and a steal. Justin Ward and Noah Manning chimed in for eight points apiece, while Collin O'Bieglo added seven points to the scoreboard. Hunter Johnson scored six points and Wes Richert came in for three points. Keyser Wenthold scored two, as did Joe Wathier.

Manning grabbed a team-high six boards, all of which came off the defensive glass. Ward totaled four rebounds and four assists. Johnson and Wenthold had three rebounds each.

Brady Schuttemeier had a 14-point, 11-rebound double double for SG, while Chase Grinde led all scorers with 19 points. Four Lions scored in double figures with Alex Engelhardt adding 15 and Dustin Vickerman 11. They each also rebounded seven times.

Devon Nerstad scored 17 points for SG as the Lions won the B team game 47-34. SG won the eighth grade game 50-35 while M-C prevailed 37-32 in the seventh grade game.

Mabel-Canton at Hope Lutheran

Hope Lutheran (HL) squeaked by the Cougars on Friday, 50-48.

The first period featured a string of runs. M-C jumped out to a 7-0 lead before HL reeled off 16 straight points. The Cougars replied, catching and overtaking Hope Lutheran, 21-20, at the half. The second half had five lead changes before the Patriots managed a 32-31 margin with 11:30 left to play. Hope Lutheran wouldn't be caught again, even though M-C was breathing down their necks the rest of the way.

Mabel-Canton did out-shoot Hope Lutheran at the foul line, 64 percent to 30 percent, scoring six more points than the hosts from the charity stripe. But it wasn't enough to make up for difficulties from the field.

A spate of cold shooting was costly for the Cougars, who finished averaging just 26 percent from the field. Even though the visitors launched more shots (65 to 48), it wasn't enough to make up for 41 percent shooting by the Pats.

M-C won the turnover tussle, 27-18, but the Patriots held a 38-30 edge in rebounding.

Ward led with 17 points. Manning was also in double figures, with 11. Lind scored eight. Johnson added five and Wenthold scored three. O'Bieglo and Wayne Ross had two points each.

Rebounding leaders were Manning with eight and Lind with six. Ward and Johnson each snagged four, with Wenthold adding three.

Lind blocked two shots. Ward led the team in steals with seven. He also deflected 10 passes. Wenthold snitched six balls from HL, while Johnson had four.

The Patriots were led by junior forward Andrew Fratzke, who finished with 20 points, including four buckets from beyond the arc. He completed the double double with a team-high 16 rebounds. Senior Jason Klug scored 14 and pulled down six boards.

Up next

On Monday, M-C would have traveled to Preston to take on Fillmore Central, but a statewide school closing also called off extra-curricular activities. On Tuesday, the Cougars were scheduled to host Lanesboro, which has also been rescheduled due to another school cancellation. On Friday, Jan. 10, M-C hits the road for Schaeffer Academy.