The Burros played three games last week, but were disappointed by finishing their 16-9 regular season with three straight losses.

Lanesboro vs. Rushford-Peterson

Fifth-ranked in class A polls, the Trojans managed to double up the score at Lanesboro High School last Monday, defeating the Burros 76-38.

Rushford forced 27 turnovers while only giving up 11. The Trojans also succeeded in stealing away 19 LHS possessions while the Burros only lifted 5.

R-P also passed for 20 assists while denying and disrupting the LHS offense. The Burros only completed 4 assists on the night.

Adding in a slight (25-22) rebounding advantage, R-P enjoyed a 57-38 edge in field goal attempts. The Burros hit an uncharacteristic 14 percent from beyond the arc, 54 percent from two-point territory. The Trojans shot freely from outside, hitting eight of 22 (36 percent) on triple tries. The only place LHS out-scored the visitors was at the foul line, where the Burros went six for 12 while R-P got only four tries, sinking two.

A third of the way through the first half, Lanesboro only trailed 17-16. That's when the Trojans scooted ahead with an 11-2 run and never looked back.

Kole Ruud led Lanesboro scorers with 13 points. He also contributed six boards, a steal, and an assist. Liam Dorn scored seven, grabbed seven rebounds, and got a pair of steals. Luke Rogers chimed in for seven points, and got two rebounds. Garrett Boggs had six points and two boards. Zach Voeltz added five points and two rebounds.

Charlie Krambeer and Jorli Hauge finished with 14 points each for R-P. Cole Kingsley added 13, while Seth Thompson poured in 11.

Lanesboro vs. Mabel-Canton

The following night, LHS hosted the Cougars, dropping a close one, 65-56.

The score was knotted six times, and swings put both teams up as well. Lanesboro enjoyed a 16-8 lead in the early going, only to see their guests roar back before the half. Mabel-Canton took a 25-24 lead, and the score was tied at 26-all as the first half went down. Keyser Wenthold hit a trey as time expired, and the Cougars went to the locker room leading 29-26.

Another trey by the same player opened the second half. But the Burros responded, gaining a 41-40 lead on a Ruud trey minutes later. Hunter Johnson answered with back-to-back twos for the Cougars (41-44), and Ruud scored another triple to tie it up at 44. After a 48-all tie, LHS regained the lead with just under five minutes to play. That's when the Cougars took the momentum, going up 57-54. Six clutch free throws down the stretch sealed the win for M-C.

Ruud led the Burros with 16 points, five rebounds, and two steals. Rogers poured in 15, snagged a pair of boards, dished for four assists, and lifted a steal. Boggs added 10 points, four rebounds, two steals, and two assists. Matthew Luck came in for five points, and a steal. Voeltz also came off the bench for five. He grabbed three boards and three steals. Dorn scored three points, led rebounders with eight, and lifted a steal. Cole Schwichenberg got two points and a rebound.

Both teams hit an identical 10 of 16 from the foul line. The turnover tussle was also even, with each team losing the ball 18 times. But rebounding favored the Cougars, 33 to 24.

In a rare turn for Burro foes, the Cougars averaged 38 percent from trey territory while LHS hit only 26 percent. More importantly, M-C got a half dozen more baskets closer to the hoop.

Hunter Johnson led the Cougars with 17 points. He also grabbed three rebounds, lifted a pair of steals, and dished out two assists. Wenthold hit for 15, including three for five from beyond the three-point line. He passed for three assists and rebounded twice. Donnie Lind chalked up a 12 point, 12 rebound double double, and blocked two shots.

Lanesboro at Lyle/Pacelli

Friday brought a trip to Lyle, and a tough 67-64 loss to the Athletics.

L/P trailed 35-31 at the half, but took the lead early in the second period. The Burros tied it at 40-all on a trey by Ruud, and the game became a dogfight until the end. After four more tie scores, LHS held slim margins until Brennen Ruis gave LP a 65-64 lead with a two-pointer from the post, and only 18 seconds left to play. The Burros were forced to foul, but the last 2 points were scored at the line by the home team.

The A's hit seven of 13 free throws, while LHS got 16 of 27.

Ruud led Burro scorers with 15 points, including two baskets from beyond the arc. Dorn added 14, while Rogers poured in 11. Voeltz had nine points and Boggs eight. Official stats for rebounds and other categories were not available as this issue went to press.

Sophomore guard Mark Manyuon led the Athletics with 16 points. Jordan Hart added 15, while Braden Kocer hit for 12.

Lanesboro coach John Smith said that defensive breakdowns were costly, especially in the last two regular season games. On the offensive end, "Taking care of the basketball is very important this time of year and that is something that needs to improve heading into the playoffs," he noted.

Up next

The Section 1A East tourney kicked off Tuesday with high seeds hosting. Fourth-seeded LHS received a bye and will host Kingsland tonight (Thursday) at 7 p.m. The next two rounds are Feb. 25 and March 1 at Mayo Civic Auditorium.

The Burros have made it to the sub-section finals six times, losing to Rushford-Peterson on each occasion.

The Trojans are seeded first in the 1A East again this year, and hold a record of 47-3 in subsection play since Minnesota went to four classes in 1997. During those 17 seasons, R-P has won 14 sub-section titles, 11 section crowns, and a state championship (2006).