Mabel-Canton’s Brenden Kerns prepares to take a shot as Lanesboro defender Andrew Luck looks to attempt a block.
Mabel-Canton’s Brenden Kerns prepares to take a shot as Lanesboro defender Andrew Luck looks to attempt a block. HEATHER KLEIBOER/NEWS LEADER

The Mabel Canton boys basketball team won one of its three games last week, starting with a 78-54 SEC road loss at LeRoy-Ostrander on Tuesday, Jan. 30, in which the Cardinals had a 17-point advantage at the free throw line.

M-C was back home on Friday, Feb. 2, to grab a 61-48 conference win over Lanesboro, 61-48, completing a sweep of the season series.

The Cougars were home again Saturday at Wabasha-Kellogg, dropping the non-conference game 70-49. The Cougars are 7-12 overall (4-7 SEC).

Loss at L-0, 78-54

The Cougars had 10 of the 11 players listed on the stat sheet contribute points, but that wasn’t enough to overcome three L-O Cardinals scoring at least 20 points. Trey Hungerholt (26 points), Riley Olson (23) and Seth Royston (21) combined to score 60 points, topping the Cougar team-total of 54 points by themselves.

A 17-point edge at the free throw line and a 15-point advantage at the three-point line would be all the Cardinals needed to come away with the 24-point win.

The Cardinals went to the free throw line a whopping 42 times, sinking 27 (64%). The Cougar boys hit 10 of 19 free throws (53%).

L-O hit seven three-pointers in 20 attempts (35%, 21 points) while M-C was only two for 15 from outside (13%, 6 points).

Junior Blake Henry led the Cougars with a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds, Drew Wyffels added 10 points, eight rebounds and a team-high five assists with Ryan Kuhn scoring nine points.

LeRoy-Ostrander (14-5, 6-2 SEC) led by just five points at halftime, 29-24, but would break the game open in the second half, outscoring Mabel-Canton by 19 points (49-30) on the way to a 24-point Southeast Conference win.

The rest of the game was a pretty even matchup, especially when it came to defense and rebounding.

The Cougars won the battle on the boards, grabbing 44 rebounds to 40 for the Cardinals. M-C helped themselves out with 17 offensive rebounds while allowing just 11 to LeRoy-Ostrander. Dylan Loppnow contributed five boards for Mabel-Canton.

The Cougars finished with 17 turnovers, 12 coming from L-O steals. The Cardinals wound up with 14 turnovers, nine thanks to Cougar steals. Wyffels was the top thief for M-C with four steals.

Win vs. Lanesboro, 61-48

The Cougars completed the season-sweep of the Burros after an earlier win in December, 73-41.

Mabel-Canton had to work much harder for the win in the second game between the two teams. The first half saw the Burros (1-15, 1-13 SEC) take six-point leads three-different times, the last one coming at 19-13. The Cougars would then go on a 14-2 run, taking a six-point lead into halftime (27-21).

Mabel-Canton would outscore the Burros in the second half by seven points (34-27) to take the SEC-matchup by 13 points (61-48).

The Cougars finished with three players in double figures while the Burros had two. Henry and Loppnow (eight of 11 shooting) tied for the team lead with 17 points, and Wyffels chipped in 10 points (team-high seven assists).

Carson Schwichtenberg of Lanesboro led all scorers with 21 points (three treys, four of four free throws), and Andrew Luck added 12 points.

Mabel-Canton hit 24 of 60 shots (40%) on their home floor while the Burros made just 16 of their 52 shots (31%). Three-point shooting kept the game close for LHS, knocking down six of 27 shots outside the arc (22%, 18 points) as the Cougars made only two of 17 long-range attempts (12%, six points).

Free throw scoring was a push as the Cougars were 11 of 19 at the line, and the Burros were 10 for 12.

Mabel-Canton won the rebounding battle, pulling down 40 missed shots while allowing Lanesboro to grab 31. The Cougars did a great job on the offensive boards, getting 20 of their own missed shots. The Burros weren’t far behind with 15 offensive rebounds themselves. Henry led the Cougars with another nine rebounds and Loppnow grabbed eight.

M-C had just 12 turnovers while LHS had 18 miscues, 14 as a result of Cougar steals. Brenden Kerns, Ryan Kuhn and Wyffels had 3 thefts apiece. The Burros had just five steals of their own.

Loss to W-K, 70-49

The Cougars couldn’t muster enough offense to keep up with the Falcons in the final game of last week. The Falcons put three players in double-figures who outscored the Cougars all by themselves.

In fact, it was a record-setting day for Zach Kjeseth of W-K, who became the school’s all-time leading scorer during the Saturday game at Mabel-Canton. He scored 21 points and passed Ryan Wolfe’s career mark of 1,363 points and now sits at 1,374.

Jaxon Mickow led the Falcons with 22 points, and Max Kuntz added 10.

Loppnow led the Cougars with 15 points (six of 10 shooting); Wyffels added 10 and Henry nine.

The Cougars hit 34% of their shots (18 of 53) against the Falcon defense; 17 of their 18 field goals came from two-point range, where they hit a strong 49% of their attempts. But it was a rough day from the outside with M-C going one for 18 from three-point range.

Wabasha-Kellogg finished the night with five treys of their own.

Most of the shooting struggles came in the second half for Mabel-Canton. The halftime buzzer sounded with the Falcons up by just three points (35-32). However, the second half was anything but close. The Cougars went cold on offense, getting just 17 points after halftime while the Falcons (10-9) scored another 35 points, getting the win by 21 (70-49).

Mabel-Canton was 11 of 19 from the free throw line while the Falcons hit 15 of their 19 attempts.

The Cougars took care of the ball, finishing with 15 turnovers while coming up with 7 steals. Kerns led M-C with three steals.

Mabel-Canton pulled down 31 rebounds, 13 on the offensive end of the floor.


The Mabel-Canton boys are back on their home floor against Grand Meadow in non-conference play on Thursday, Feb. 8, with the Superlarks looking for a season-sweep against the Cougars.

After a weekend off, the Cougars host Schaeffer Academy on Monday, Feb. 12, with the Lions seeking a sweep of their own. M-C will then hit the road the very next night for a non-conference game at Winona Cotter/Hope Lutheran.

Southeast Conference Boys

through Monday, Feb. 5 games


Spring Grove…..8-0 (14-5 all)

Schaeffer Aca….7-2 (16-5 all

Mabel-Canton…4-7 (7-12 all)

Houston………..3-7 (7-15 all)

Lanesboro……..1-8 (1-16 all)


Randolph…………7-1 (16-4 all)

Grand Meadow….7-3 (10-10 all)

LeRoy-Ostrander..6-3 (15-6 all)

Lyle/Pacelli……….4-7 (9-9 all)

Glenville-Emmons.0-9 (1-17 all)