Mabel-Canton's girls' basketball squad played two games in two days at the Winona State University Warrior Club Holiday Tournament last week. Their opponents hailed from the SEC East, but the games didn't count as conference matches.

M-C vs. Hope Lutheran

The Cougars were disappointed on Thursday, Dec. 27, dropping a close contest with Hope Lutheran 44-42.

Both teams started cold from the field, but the Cougars managed to take a 17-11 lead into the locker room.

"We led the whole game until there was three minutes left in the second half," M-C coach Adam Wilder reported. "The second half was our worst shooting performance of the season and we struggled to knock down free throws."

Wilder said that a long layoff during the holidays may have affected Mabel-Canton shooters. "We did not take care of the ball well, and our defense struggled at times," he added. Towards the second half of their next (Dec. 28) game, the rust finally seemed to be gone from the Cougars, he noted.

The Patriots outpaced M-C 33-25 in the second period. Junior forward Dakota Ellinghuysen scored 16 points, snagged 8 rebounds, and had 6 steals for Hope Lutheran.

Junior forward Sara Lind led Mabel-Canton with 13 points, while classmate Lydia Geving scored 12 at guard. Senior guard Danielle Paul added 5 points.

M-C vs. Lanesboro

"We started the game strong," Wilder said of Friday's LHS game. After doubling the score on the Burros 22-11, however, Lanesboro reeled off 6 straight points before the half ended and then tied the contest at 24-24 early in the second period. It was a back-and-forth game for a few possessions but the Cougars held off the Burros when the game was on the line, burying the last seven points of the night from the foul line.

"We shot much better late in the second half and we also stepped up our defense," Wilder added. "We held Lanesboro scoreless for about the last 3 to 4 minutes of the game and knocked down our free throws to make it a 51-41 victory."

LHS coach Kelly McMillen said the Cougars were "probably the most improved team we have seen so far this year..." following the contest.

Junior guard Carly McCabe scored a game-high 16 points while Lind added 15 for Mabel-Canton. Alisa Warnes, a 5-10 senior forward, led Lanesboro with 15 points.

Up next

On Thursday, Jan. 3, Hope Lutheran will visit Mabel for a conference match. The following night, the Cougars visit Grand Meadow. Monday, Jan. 7, is another road game for M-C, this time with Fillmore Central in Harmony. Rochester Home School is scheduled to play at Mabel on Jan. 8.

Southeast Conference 2013

GIRLS Basketball conf. season

EAST DIVISION W L W L

Spring Grove * 5 - 0 5 - 5

Mabel-Canton 4 - 1 6 - 2

Hope Lutheran 3 - 2 9 - 2

Lanesboro 1 - 3 2 - 6

Houston 0 - 3 1 - 5

* defending division champion

WEST DIVISION

Lyle/Pacelli 4 - 1 6 - 1

Grand Meadow 3 - 2 4 - 5

LeRoy-Ostrander * 2 - 3 3 - 7

Schaeffer Academy 1 - 4 3 - 7

Glenville-Emmons 0 - 4 1 - 5