Mabel-Canton boys turned back again by state-ranked Lions

LEE EPPS/NEWS LEADER Cougar junior Brayden Gjere shoots near the free throw line at Spring Grove last Friday night.

LEE EPPS/NEWS LEADER Ethan Underbakke is above the crowd in pursuit of a rebound while teammate Dylan Loppnow (No. 25) is sandwiched between Spring Grove players.
By : 
Chad Smith
News Leader

The polar vortex cost the Mabel-Canton boys basketball team a game scheduled at Glenville-Emmons on Tuesday, Jan. 29. It’s been moved to this Saturday, Feb. 9, at 12:45 p.m.. The Cougars did host Spring Grove on Friday, Feb. 1, coming up short 63-31 in a game that saw the offense struggle right from the opening tipoff. The Cougars dropped the season series against Spring Grove after losing a much more competitive game in mid-December. The Cougars are 6-12 overall (2-6 SEC) after a loss to Cotter (just before this edition went to press) to begin a very busy in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Mabel-Canton ran into a buzz saw on the road against No. 8-ranked Spring Grove, a team that clinched at least a share of the SEC East Division title with the victory - conference win number 71 in a row for Spring Grove (14-1, 11-0 SEC) and the 19th-straight win against Mabel-Canton.

A slow first half for Mabel-Canton put the Cougars in a hole they wouldn’t be able to climb out of. The Cougars were down 33-16 at halftime and could only add 15 more points the rest of the way. The Lion defense made it very difficult for the Cougars to get much going offensively. While no Cougars broke double figure scoring, the Lions' balanced offense had three players break through the double-digit barrier.

The Cougars only hit 11 of their 53 shots (21%) against Spring Grove. Dylan Loppnow led the team with eight points and six rebounds. Drew Wyffels added seven points and also grabbed six rebounds. Parker Ingvalson chipped in five points.

For the Lions, Ethan Matzke had game-highs of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Alex Folz (seven rebounds, six assists) and Caden Grinde each scored 12 points. Kai Bjerke chipped in nine points and Takoda Boyd added eight.

Forty of Spring Grove’s 55 points from the field came in two-point territory, where the Lions torched the nets at 63% (20 of 32).

Each team grabbed 11 offensive rebounds, but Mabel-Canton was outrebounded overall, 37-24.. M-C had just six assists in the game, while the Lions had 18.

Defensively, each team finished with seven steals. M-C had 15 turnovers in the game and handled the ball well against the Lions’ full-court defense. SG committed 13 turnovers of their own.


The Cougar boys already kicked off this week on Monday, Feb. 4, with a 65-53 non-conference loss at home to Winona Cotter. We’ll have all the details here in the next edition of the News Leader.

M-C had a tough matchup Tuesday night against state-ranked Grand Meadow in SEC play. Then on Thursday night, Feb. 9, the Cougars host Lanesboro in the first of their two-game season series.

The rescheduled game at Glenville-Emmons tips off on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 12:45 p.m. Next week starts on Tuesday, Feb. 12, with a home game against LeRoy-Ostrander.

The Cougars go to Lyle to play a non-conference rematch with Lyle/Pacelli on Feb. 14 before hosting Class AA Cannon Falls on Feb. 15