Justin Ward appears to be suspended in air as he lifts the ball to the basket during the Cougars game against LeRoy-Ostrander last week.  HEATHER KLEIBOER/NEWS-RECORD
Justin Ward appears to be suspended in air as he lifts the ball to the basket during the Cougars game against LeRoy-Ostrander last week. HEATHER KLEIBOER/NEWS-RECORD
A trip to state-ranked Rushford-Peterson resulted in a loss last week, but Mabel-Canton rebounded at home versus LeRoy-Ostrander.

M-C at Rushford-Peterson

On Tuesday, Dec. 17, the Cougars took on R-P, but the unbeaten Trojans prevailed 79-39.

Justin Ward led M-C scorers with 12 points. Hunter Johnson was also in double figures, hitting for 10. Donnie Lind poured in seven, while Noah Manning hit for five.

Manning came down with a team-high eight rebounds and five steals. Lind had four boards and a blocked shot. Johnson snagged three rebounds and had two steals.

As a team, the Trojans out-boarded the Cougars 35-21. R-P hit six of 10 from the line, while M-C scored on four of six free throw attempts. Steals favored the home team, 22-13.

The Trojans were led by Charlie Krambeer with 17 points. Seth Thompson added 12, while Jorli Hauge had 10. Ranked second in the state, R-P improved to 6-0 with the win. They remained unbeaten (8-0) as this issue went to press.

M-C versus LeRoy-Ostrander

The Cougars overcame Southeast Conference opponent LeRoy-Ostrander two nights later in Mabel, 61-46.

The Cardinals enjoyed the lead in the early going, scoring primarily from the perimeter. M-C closed the gap (14-14) with about 10 minutes to play in the first period. Two more ties and a couple of lead changes later, the Cougars took off on a 9-0 run that put them up 29-23 at the half. Combining outside shooting and dribble drives, the home team would not be caught in the second half, enjoying double-digit leads through the last 12 minutes.

As a team, M-C out-rebounded L-O by a narrow 41-37 margin. Defensive intensity by the Cougars resulted in a 20-5 edge in steals, however, a much more telling stat. M-C forced 30 turnovers while only losing 13. The Cougars wound up with the same number of turnovers as assists. For the Cards, turnovers outnumbered assists by a wide margin (30 to 6).

L-O shot 72 percent from the charity stripe, outscoring the Cougars 16-8 in free throws, but it wasn't enough to make up for a 71-43 edge in scoring opportunities from the field.

Johnson canned 18 points. Manning had 14, while Ward added 10. Wayne Ross contributed six points and Collin O'Bieglo added four. Keyser Wenthold scored four points and passed for four assists with only two turnovers.

Manning and Ward finished with eight boards apiece. Lind had seven and blocked two shots. Johnson rebounded five times.

Zach Royston scored 22 points for the Cardinals. Nate Bunne netted 14.

Up next

Mabel-Canton travels to the Winona State basketball tournament on Dec. 26 and Dec. 28, taking on Cotter and Cochran-Fountain City, respectively.