Blake Henry makes it to the basket for two points as the Mabel-Canton Cougars concluded its regular season last week, hosting their last home game on Thursday night against LeRoy-Ostrander.
Blake Henry makes it to the basket for two points as the Mabel-Canton Cougars concluded its regular season last week, hosting their last home game on Thursday night against LeRoy-Ostrander. HEATHER KLEIBOER/NEWS LEADER

The Mabel-Canton boys basketball team dropped a pair of games last week to wrap up the regular season. With weather concerns, a Tuesday game with Lyle/Pacelli was canceled, and a Monday game with LeRoy-Ostrander was moved to Thursday, Feb. 22. The Cardinals beat Mabel-Canton on the Cougars’ home floor 49-33, winning the season series with the Cougars.

Mabel-Canton hit the road to Cannon Falls for a matchup against the Class AA Bombers on Saturday. While the offense picked up, the Cougars were a little shorthanded but still played hard in an 84-63 loss.

The Cougars finished the regular season 8-17 overall (4-9 SEC). The Cougars advanced to a play-in game in the Section 1A Tournament at Houston as this edition went to press on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Loss to L-O, 49-33

The Cougars lost the game and the season-series to the Cardinals. However, the Mabel-Canton defensive effort clearly took a step forward. LeRoy-Ostrander won the first matchup in late January 78-54. The Cardinals (18-7) had to work much harder this time to come away with the win in a low-scoring, cold-shooting contest.

The Cardinals led the game 24-17 at the halftime break in a non-conference matchup of SEC squads. The second half of the game was nearly identical to the first with L-O outscoring Mabel-Canton 25-16, winning the game by 16 points (49-33) in Mabel.

While the defense made things harder for the Cardinals, the offense just couldn’t get going. The Cougars only hit 22% of their shots on the night (13 of 58). It was especially cold outside the arc, where Cougar shooters only hit three shots in 21 long-distance attempts (14%). Mabel-Canton hit four of five free throws.

Blake Henry was the only Cougar in double figures with 11 points. Brenden Kerns and Drew Wyffels each added eight points. Kerns had a team-high 10 rebounds, and Wyffels added a team-best four assists.

The one place the Cougars really did well was on the glass. The team finished with 43 rebounds, getting nine each from Pierce Lind (two points) and Wyffels as well as seven boards from Henry

Mabel-Canton took decent care of the basketball against the Cardinal defense, winding up with 15 turnovers. The Cougars took the ball away five times from the Cardinals (Henry two).

Loss to Cannon Falls, 84-63

The Cougars finished up their regular season schedule with a tough road matchup at Class AA Cannon Falls (11-14). The Cougar offense really picked up the pace from the previous game against LeRoy-Ostrander, but Mabel-Canton entered the game shorthanded and couldn’t keep up with the Bombers.

CF led the game 47-37 at halftime before the Bombers outscored Mabel-Canton 37-29 in the second half, winning the game by 21 points.

The Cougars added 30 points over the previous game’s output against the Cardinals, as well as a 13-point higher shooting percentage. M-C was 21 of 58 from the field (36%), getting 21 points from outside the perimeter (seven of 19, 37%).

Two Cougars wound up in double figures to carry the offensive load, but they did get help from six of the other seven players on the roster who contributed points.

Wyffels and Henry combined to score over half their team’s points (37). Henry was the top Cougar with 19 points (six rebounds, three assists, one steal). Wyffels, an all-conference point guard, was close with 18 points plus a team-high seven assists.

The Cougars added another 14 points at the free throw line in 24 attempts (58%).

Once again, the Cougars took good care of the basketball, not giving Cannon Falls a lot of extra opportunities thanks to just 12 turnovers. However, the Bombers didn’t give the Cougars many easy opportunities as well with Mabel-Canton coming away with only four steals.

Mabel-Canton pulled down 33 rebounds, including 15 on the offensive end. Once again, the Cougars hit the boards as a team, with Lind leading M-C with seven rebounds; Kerns had five and Cody Hershberger four.


The Cougars are the No. 17 Seed in the Section 1A Tournament, which doesn’t have sub-sections in the early rounds. The 19 teams are seeded 1 through 19 with the bottom six seeds facing off in “pigtail” (play-in) games on Tuesday, Feb. 27. The Cougars headed to No. 16 seed Houston with the winner moving on to a road matchup at No. 1 seed Rushford-Peterson on Thursday, March 1.

Southeast Conference Boys  

 end regular season  


Spring Grove*    13-0 (21-5 all)

Schaeffer Aca.     9-4 (18-8 all)

Houston               5-5 (10-16 all)

Mabel-Canton     4-9 (8-17 all)

Lanesboro           1-12 (2-23 all)


Randolph*           10-3 (19-7 all)

LeRoy-Ostrander  9-4 (19-7 all)    Grand Meadow     8-5 (12-13 all)    

Lyle/Pacelli            6-7 (14-10 all)  Glenville-Emmons 0-13 (1-24 all)