Blake Henry drives to the basket against Schaeffer Academy.
Blake Henry drives to the basket against Schaeffer Academy. EPPS/NEWS LEADER

The Mabel-Canton boys dropped three games in a row last week, all by similar 10-to-12-point margins, starting with a 71-61 loss at home to Schaeffer Academy on Monday, Feb. 12, with the Lions completing a sweep of the Cougars.

The next night, M-C dropped a non-conference matchup at Cotter/Hope Lutheran, falling to the Ramblers 70-58. The Cougars wrapped up the week on Friday with a road loss at Randolph 56-46, falling in their last SEC game. The Cougars are 8-15 overall (4-9 SEC) and have three games left in the final week of the regular season.

Loss to SA, 71-61

Mabel-Canton dropped the season series to the Lions with Schaeffer Academy having won the first go-around between the teams in early December by 13 points (58-45). In this rematch, the second half offensive surge by SA (18-7, 11-3 SEC) would turn out to be the difference in what had been a tight game.

The Cougars actually held the lead at halftime by a field goal (30-28). The Schaeffer offense would get going after the break, starting the second half with a trey to take a 31-30 lead. M-C would tie the game at 31-all but never got the lead back.

Schaeffer gradually achieved a double-digit margin at 47-35 with 10:33 to play. The largest lead for SA was 17 points (60-43) with 4:32 left.

SA began to send in subs at 1:49 with a 66-50 lead. M-C did get the lead down to single digits, but the Lions would hit free throws the rest of the way to seal the win.

A 10-point edge at the free throw line would be the difference in the game. Schaeffer hit an impressive 19 of 26 free throws (71%) as M-C was forced to foul late in the game (three key Cougars fouled out). The Cougars only hit 9 of their 19 charity attempts (47%).

Both teams shot reasonably well from outside the arc. The Lions dropped in 10 of 25 treys (40%, 30 points) while the Mabel-Canton boys hit 8 of 31 attempts (26%, 24 points).

The Cougars placed four players in double figures, led by Drew Wyffels with 16 points (team-high 8 assists), Dylan Loppnow with 12 (5 of 9 shooting), Brenden Kerns adding 11 and Logan Richardson contributing a double-double with 10 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. Ryan Kuhn scored 9 points.

Cole Bothun of Schaeffer Academy sank 4 treys and led all scorers with 21 points. Christian Lahr scored 18 points, and Dane Bothun chipped in 12 points (2 treys).

Both teams hit the glass especially hard with the Cougars outrebounding SA 49-40. Both teams gave themselves second-chances on the offensive end with Mabel-Canton pulling down an impressive 18 offensive rebounds while allowing Schaeffer to bring down 12 of their own. Loppnow contributed 9 rebounds for M-C, and Pierce Lind pulled down 6 missed shots

M-C finished with 15 turnovers, 9 coming directly from SA steals. The Lions turned it over 15 times as well, 8 of which were a result of Cougar steals (Wyffels 3).

Defensively, the Lions blocked 7 Cougar shots while M-C blocked 2, getting 1 block each from Loppnow and Richardson.

Loss at Cotter/HL, 70-58

For the second-straight game, the second half would be the difference between a Cougar win or a Cougar loss. The first half was a high-scoring affair as the teams combined to score 77 total points. The Cougars had a 9-point lead and momentum going into halftime with a 43-34 lead. 

As the teams came out to start the second half, the Mabel-Canton offense stayed in the locker room. M-C scored less than half of its first-half total, scoring just 15 points in the second half while Cotter/Hope Lutheran added another 36 points to pull away with a 12-point, non-conference victory, 70-58.

The Cougars scored more points outside the 3-point arc than they did closer to the basket. M-C hit 11 treys in 26 attempts (42%, 33 points) but struggled inside, where they were 10 for 40 (25%, 20 points).

Again, most of that point-production came before halftime. Overall, the Cougars went 21 of 66 from the field (32%).

Wyffels led three players in double figures (exceeding his season-average of 14 points per game) while scoring 19 against the Ramblers (6-17). Kuhn and Loppnow each scored 10 points.

The Cougars certainly gave themselves second chances to score points, pulling down an impressive total of 19 offensive rebounds while finishing with a total of 43 boards. Blake Henry led the team on the boards by grabbing 9 missed shots, and Loppnow added 8 rebounds (6 offensive).

The defense came up with 8 steals with Wyffels the top thief with 4 plus 2 each from Loppnow and Kuhn.

Shooting free throws continues to be a rough spot for Mabel-Canton, averaging 54 percent from the stripe on the season. They were more inconsistent against the Ramblers, hitting only 42 percent from the line (5 for 12).

Loss to Randolph, 56-46

The Cougar defense clamped down on the Rockets after halftime but couldn’t overcome an 11-point deficit at halftime (37-26). The Cougars outscored the Rockets 20-19 in the second half but dropped the SEC matchup at Randolph by 10 points (56-46), dropping their third game in a row after a great win over Grand Meadow on Feb. 8.

The Rockets are putting together a good season, sitting at 18-6 overall (9-3 SEC) in a three-team battle for the SEC West Division championship.

Once again, M-C scored more points from outside the 3-point line than they did inside the arc. The Cougars hit 8 of 21 3-pointers (38%, 24 points) while going 10 of 28 from 2-point land (36%, 20 points). Randolph answered the 8 Mabel-Canton treys with 8 of their own.

Eight of the 10-point advantage Randolph had at the final buzzer came from the free throw line. While neither team shot especially well from the stripe, the Rockets hit 10 of 18 attempts (55%) while the Cougars were only 2 for 10 (20%).

Three Cougars wound up in double figures, including Wyffels, Kerns and Henry, who each scored 11 points. Wyffels completed a double-double with a team-high 10 assists. Kuhn chipped in with 8 points.

Carsyn Gunderson led the Rockets with 18 points (3 treys); Andrew Wenstrom scored 11, and Dane Ehleringer finished with 10.

M-C pulled down 33 rebounds with 13 on the offensive end. Henry was the top Cougar with 6 rebounds (5 offensive) with Wyffels and Kerns each grabbing 5 missed shots.

The Cougar defense, which came into the game averaging 9.6 steals a game, finished the night against the Rockets with 12 thefts (Wyffels and Henry with 3 each).

Loppnow had 3 of the team’s 4 blocked shots.

M-C turned the ball over against the Rocket defense 21 times.


Weather postponed the Monday game against LeRoy-Ostrander to Thursday, Feb. 22. The Tuesday non-conference game against Lyle/Pacelli also fell victim to the weather and will not be made up.

After tonight's final regular season home makeup game against L-O, Mabel-Canton will end the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 24, at Cannon Falls with an approximate tipoff at 1 p.m. (following the 11 a.m. B team game). Saturday is also the date for seeding next week's section tournament, which begins on Feb. 27 and March 1.


Southeast Conference Boys

through Monday, Feb. 12 games


Spring Grove*...12-0 (19-5 all)

Schaeffer Aca…..9-3 (18-7 all

Houston…………5-8 (10-16 all)

Mabel-Canton….4-9 (8-15 all)

Lanesboro…….. 1-11 (2-21 all)



Randolph^.………9-3 (18-6 all)

LeRoy-Ostrander..8-4 (17-7 all)

Grand Meadow….8-4 (12-12 all)

Lyle/Pacelli……….5-7 (12-10 all)

Glenville-Emmons.0-12 (1-21 all)

 ^clinched share of title