Cougar Carly McCabe takes to the air as she lays up a shot last week during Mabel-Canton’s home game against the Grand Meadow Superlarks. HEATHER KLEIBOER/NEWS-RECORD
Cougar Carly McCabe takes to the air as she lays up a shot last week during Mabel-Canton’s home game against the Grand Meadow Superlarks. HEATHER KLEIBOER/NEWS-RECORD
The Mabel-Canton girls basketball team finished its regular season last week by securing two wins for their season record, 14-9. The Cougars defeated Houston on Tuesday on the road and grabbed another win on Saturday in a make-up game against Grand Meadow.

Mabel-Canton at Houston

On Tuesday, Feb. 18, the Cougars traveled to Houston, defeating the Hurricanes, 67-56.

M-C trailed 30-29 at intermission, but out-pointed their hosts 38-26 in the second frame.

Cougar coach Adam Wilder said that last week's snow delays appeared to affect the team's intensity.

"We seemed flat defensively as well as offensively," he said. "Houston did a good job rebounding the ball on both ends and they hung around with some good offense. We came out in the second with a little more hustle but still struggled shooting the ball."

"Once we took the lead in the second half we did a great job closing out the win," he added.

Carly McCabe led the Cougars with 19 points, including an outstanding three of four from beyond the arc. Lydia Geving poured in 15, hitting six of 15 from closer in. Sara Lind (13 points) and Abby Hanson (12) were also in double figures. Coranda Vickerman added six and Hannah Nolte added two.

The battle of the boards went to M-C, 43 rebounds to 35. More costly for the Hurricanes was losing 23 turnovers while the Cougars only had 10. M-C defenders lifted 17 steals to three for the hosts. The difference allowed the Cougars to take 76 shots from the field, while Houston only got 55.

Both Geving (13 rebounds) and Lind (11 boards) checked in with double doubles. They also each blocked a shot. Geving and Vickerman got four assists and six steals apiece.

Neither team was able to hit half of their attempts from the charity stripe. M-C made four more trips to the foul line (hitting 10 of 23), but only cashed in for one more point than the Hurricanes (nine of 19).

Six-foot senior center Abbey Loken led the Hurricanes with 25 points, 18 rebounds. Sophomore forward Kelly Jerviss added 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Mabel-Canton vs. Grand Meadow

Weather postponements resulted in the cancellation of a match-up with Lanesboro, but a rescheduled home game with Grand Meadow took place on Saturday. The Cougars finished their regular season with a 51-40 win.

"We came out better versus Grand Meadow and took an early lead," Wilder noted, "but they did a good job attacking the basket with their guards and we went into half down 25-21. We came out in the second half and played much better on defense and only allowed 15 points."

Wilder added that Cougar defenders succeeded in limiting the impact of six-foot sophomore post Rio Landers, a "very talented" player.

Sara Lind scored 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and lifted two steals. Lydia Geving added 12 points, six steals, three assists and eight rebounds. Coranda Vickerman scored nine points (including two treys), passed for four assists and got a steal. Hannah Nolte netted seven points, four rebounds and three steals. Carly McCabe had two points, eight steals, five assists and four rebounds. Abby Hanson got two points, two rebounds. Sophomore guard Connor Benson provided three rebounds.

M-C hit nine of 20 foul shots, while GM sank five of six.

The 'Larks got 36 rebounds while M-C came down with 31. But Cougar defenders forced 28 turnovers, while Grand Meadow only gave up 18. Defensive hustle and quick hands helped, as M-C lifted 22 steals. The visitors only got six.

Rachel Oehlke scored 12 points, got six boards and dished out four assists for the Superlarks. Rio Landers got eight points, nine rebounds. Allison Gehling added seven points and four rebounds. Jordyn Glynn had eight rebounds and nine points.

M-C finished its regular season on a three-win streak, and will take a 14-9 mark into 1A East Subsection play. Their inaugural game will be in Mabel on Thursday, Feb. 27, when fifth-seed Wabasha-Kellogg will take on the fourth-seeded Cougars at 7 p.m. The next (semi-final) round will take place at Mayo Civic Auditorium on March 4 at 6 p.m.