Cougar girls experience losses to Lions, Cards, Lancers

LEE EPPS/NEWS LEADER Jordyn Newgard leads fast break against Spring Grove as the Cougars visited the Lions last week.

LEE EPPS/NEWS LEADER Kenidi McCabe defends in the backcourt, halting progress of Spring Grove's Amelia Solum last Thursday night.
By : 
Chad Smith
News Leader

While many of the area teams lost multiple games to the polar vortex last week, the Mabel-Canton girls basketball team had a busy schedule. The game with Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons scheduled for Jan. 28 was moved to Feb. 15. The on-court action began on Thursday, Jan. 31, with a 51-37 loss at home to Spring Grove, leaving the Cougars 0-2 against the Lions this season.

The Cougars dropped their final home game of the regular season to LeRoy-Ostrander on Friday night, Feb. 1, by a score of 58-42 (split the season series). The Cougars dropped their third game in three days at Class AA La Crescent-Hokah, 57-41 on Saturday. M-C is now 5-16 (3-7 SEC).

Editor's note: The News Leader unfortunately received no information from Mabel-Canton before the press deadline. The following information came from Spring Grove and the Rochester Post Bulletin.

Lost to SG 51-37

The Cougar girls dropped the season series against Spring Grove after coming up just three points short in mid-December (55-52). M-C couldn’t match its previous offensive output against the Lion defense, hitting just 25% of their shots from the field. The first half was a low-scoring one for both teams as Spring Grove led just 17-15.

The Lions were ahead 23-21 before separating themselves from the Cougars with a 15-2 scoring run to seal the win. During that game-winning stretch, M-C had 10 turnovers on 12 possessions while SG scored on eight of 13 possessions.

In the first game between the two teams, Mabel-Canton outrebounded and outscored the Lions from the field, a trend they continued last week. However, they were not able to get to the free throw line as often as they did in the first game, which was a big key to keeping the game close.

In the rematch, both teams attempted a total of 51 shots, 18 of which came from outside the arc. Neither team shot well from the field. The Lions hit 27% of their shots while M-C hit one of every four shots they attempted.

The teams didn’t hit a lot of long-range shots (SG 11%, M-C 17%) outside the three-point arc. However, they did shoot free throws well. Spring Grove hit 68% of their shots from the stripe while Mabel-Canton made 67%.

The difference in the game turned out to be the number of free throws attempted. The Lions (10-7, 6-5 SEC) overcame the Cougars’ rebounding lead by attempting and hitting more charity shots than did Mabel-Canton. SG nailed 21 of 31 free throws while limiting M-C to six of nine attempts.

Lauren Wyffels and Maddy Michels combined for 27 of the team’s 37 total points. Wyffels led the Cougars with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Michels chipped in 13 points.

By sweeping the regular season series, Spring Grove broke a tie and now leads the overall series between the schools, 53-51.

Lost to L-O 58-42

The Cougar offense struggled to keep up with the Cardinals in a non-conference game between the two SEC schools. The game, which was rescheduled from January 14, saw three LeRoy-Ostrander girls finished in double figures while just one Cougar surpassed 10 points.

L-O held an 11-point lead at halftime, 31-20, outscoring M-C 27-22 in the second half. The Cardinals earned a split in the season series with Mabel-Canton as the Cougars won the first matchup (49-46) in the season and conference opener in late November.

For the second game in a row, a Cougar opponent made a lot of trips to the free throw line. The Cardinals (6-12, 1-9 SEC) were much more aggressive at taking the ball to the hoop and drawing fouls. L-O attempted 33 free throws, hitting 17 (51%) and the Cougars were just six of 13.

Neither team outpaced the other from long range, with the Cardinals and Cougars both hitting just three of their attempts from three-point range.

Wyffels once again led the team in scoring with 16 points. Payton Danielson added nine points (two treys) and Michels contributed six.

All-SEC standout and 2,000-point  scorer Hailey Hungerholt led L-O with a game-high 17 points. Emily Hofner added 14 points, including all three successful Cardinal treys while Lauren Helgeson chipped in 12 points.

No other stats were available at press time.

Lost to LaC-H 57-41

The Class AA Lancers improved to 5-15. No other information was available as the News Leader went to press.


With only five games left in the regular season schedule (all on the road), the Cougars already played their only game this week. Mabel-Canton was on the road to Lyle/Pacelli on Tuesday, Feb. 5, just the News Leader went to press, and we’ll have coverage here next week.

M-C will start next week’s schedule on Monday, Feb. 11, looking for a sweep of the season series with Lanesboro. On Tuesday, Feb. 12, the Cougars step out of the SEC for a road trip to Rushford-Peterson.

There is a Valentine's Day rematch at Houston before the Feb. 15 make-up at Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons.