The Cougar boys' basketball squad celebrated the holidays with trips to Winona State University last week. The Warrior Club Holiday Tournament brought two opponents for the Cougars, Hope Lutheran of the SEC East and Goodhue of the Hiawatha Valley Conference.

Mabel-Canton vs. Hope Lutheran

On Thursday, Dec. 27, M-C met SEC rival Hope Lutheran, losing 58-51 in overtime.

The Cougars led by six at the half, and eight with 10 minutes left to play, but a series of key turnovers down the stretch allowed the Patriots back in, along with some accurate shooting from junior guard Jason Klug, who finished with 26 points on the night.

Trailing 49-45 with a minute and a half left, the Pats put the ball in Klug's hands for a pair of two-point buckets, the last hitting the net with five seconds left in regulation.

Two minutes into the extra period, junior guard Hunter Johnson drained a two-point goal from the post, but the Cougars saw that lead slip away for good after Klug scored on a drive with 2:34 left. Patriot center Brady Meyer then hit two buckets within the space of 25 seconds. The last three points came from Klug and Meyer at the line. Hope's center wound up with six of Hope Lutheran's nine overtime points (14 overall).

Johnson led the Cougars with 21 points, going 2 of 7 from beyond the arc and 7 of 14 from two-point range. Noah Manning scored 7, while Collin O'Bieglo and Wes Richert chipped in 6 each.

Manning led the Cougars with 13 of the team's 38 rebounds. Wenthold snagged 8, and O'Bieglo 6. Donnie Lind blocked three buckets.

Hope led in rebounds with 40 and came out ahead in giveaways, losing the ball 18 times to M-C's 23. Team shooting was close, with the Cougars hitting 36.8 percent to 35.9 percent for the Patriots. Hope out-pointed the out-of-towners from the free throw line, hitting on 11 of 22 tries. M-C had only 11 chances from the charity stripe, scoring 5 times.

Mabel-Canton vs. Goodhue

The following day, the Cougars squared off with the Wildcats. Mabel-Canton lost that low-scoring contest by a 49-27 margin.

Goodhue capitalized on several short (five and six point) runs to take a 29-15 lead at the half, then put the game away by holding the Cougars to a 9-0 drought during the last six minutes of the second period.

Mabel-Canton was well-defended both inside and out. The Cougars were held to 2 of 11 (18 percent) from beyond the arc and 9 of 36 (25 percent) from two-point range. Wildcat shooting wasn't exactly stellar, totaling 36.5 percent from the field, but they did manage five more cracks at the bucket by winning the turnover tussle (14-21) and out-rebounding M-C (36-21). Goodhue also scored three times as many points from the free-throw line as their SEC opponents.

Johnson led Cougar scorers with 11 points. Manning chipped in 5, while Wenthold hit for 4. Lind came off the bench to block 3 shots and grab 5 rebounds. Mac Nelson, Manning, and O'Bieglo also had 5 boards each.

Six foot two senior forward Zach Hinsch led the Wildcats with 16 points. Classmate Tyson Dicke added 8, while sophomore Tyler Schumacher contributed 7 points.

Up next

Hope Lutheran visits Mabel for a conference match on Jan. 3. The following night, the Cougars will travel to Grand Meadow. Rochester Home School is scheduled to play in Mabel on January 8.

Southeast Conference 2013

BOYS Basketball conf. season

EAST DIVISION W L W L

Lanesboro 5 - 0 5 - 1

Spring Grove * 5 - 0 5 - 3

Hope Lutheran 2 - 3 5 - 5

Mabel-Canton 2 - 3 2 - 6

Houston 0 - 4 0 - 7

* defending division champion

WEST DIVISION

Lyle/Pacelli 3 - 2 3 - 3

Schaeffer Academy 3 - 2 5 - 5

Grand Meadow 2 - 2 3 - 4

Glenville-Emmons* 1 - 3 1 - 6

LeRoy-Ostrander 0 - 4 0 - 9