The Cougar boys' basketball team hit the road on Tuesday, Dec. 4, and then hosted some out-of-towners three nights later.

M-C at Lanesboro

In the second game of the season for both teams, Lanesboro welcomed Mabel-Canton to their court, winning 46-39 in spite of some lukewarm shooting.

M-C out-pointed the Burros 22-21 in the second period, but it wasn't enough to cut a 25-17 halftime deficit.

"In the Lanesboro game we played much better in the second half," M-C coach Doug Wyffels said. "After 12 turnovers in the first half we had only six in the second. We need to come out focused right away and not put ourselves in such a hole."

Lanesboro attempted 21 of their trademark treys, but only hit four (19 percent). From two-point range, they hit a decent 12 of 26 (46 percent). M-C countered with three buckets from the three-point perimeter (out of 11 attempts), but suffered from cold shooting from two-point range. On the night, the Cougars only hit one-third of their two-point buckets (12 of 36).

Excellent defense and rebounding made the difference for the Burros, who out-boarded M-C 36-24, and more than doubled their opponents' steal count (11-6).

"Both Isaac Freese and Luke Rogers rebounded the ball very well each game (last week) which is a key to our defense getting stops and limiting the opposition to one shot per possession," Lanesboro Coach John Smith noted.

Free throw shooting averages favored the Cougars (67 percent to 48 percent), but the Burros got over twice as many trips to the charity stripe, out-scoring M-C 10-6 from the line.

For the Cougars, Noah Manning had 14 points, seven rebounds, two steals and four assists. Justin Ward chipped in 10, and also cleared seven boards. Hunter Johnson contributed four points, three rebounds and five assists. Logan Henry, Wesley Richert and Keyser Wenthold each had three points.

Lanesboro junior guard Luke Rogers led all scorers with 15 points. He also snagged 14 rebounds. Erik Peterson had 13 points, as did Kole Ruud. Freese had 14 rebounds and three points.

M-C versus LeRoy-Ostrander, Dec. 7

The Cougars had a slow start on Friday, but came roaring back in the second period to defeat LeRoy-Ostrander, 60-51.

Wyffels reported that M-C only hit one of their first 15 field goals, going into the locker room down 25-16. The team improved their field goal percentage by working the ball inside in the second half, winding up making 25 of 52 two-pointers on the night. M-C shots from beyond the arc were jinxed, however, ending up at 0-14.

Ward led with 25 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and six steals. Johnson added 16 points to the total, and grabbed seven rebounds. Wenthold chipped in five points, as did Mac Nelson. Logan Henry had four points.

Nelson was rebound leader, with three offensive and eight defensive boards. On the night, M-C led 43-29 in rebounding. The importance of second chances was clear. Both teams recorded a 38 percent success rate from the field, but the Cougars had the advantage of taking over 20 more shots (66 to 45). Another costly statistic for the Cardinals was being out-shot 66 percent to 43 percent from the charity stripe, since they had over twice as many chances to score from the line (32-15).

Up Next:

The Cougars will host Glenville-Emmons on Dec. 14. On the 17, the team will travel to Riceville, Iowa, for a doubleheader.

Southeast Conference 2013

BOYS Basketball conf. season

EAST DIVISION W L W L

Spring Grove * 3 - 0 3 - 1

Lanesboro 2 - 0 2 - 1

Hope Lutheran 1 - 1 3 - 2

Mabel-Canton 1 - 2 1 - 2

Houston 0 - 1 0 - 1

* defending division champion

WEST DIVISION

Lyle/Pacelli 1 - 1 1 - 1-

Schaeffer Academy 1 - 1 1 - 2

Grand Meadow 0 - 1 0 - 1

Glenville-Emmons* 0 - 1 0 - 2

LeRoy-Ostrander 0 - 1 0 - 3