Mabel-Canton boys drop decisions to Lanesboro, Lyle/Pacelli

HEATHER KLEIBOER/NEWS LEADER Brayden Gjere goes up for a shot for the Cougars in front of a Schaeffer Academy defender.
Chad Smith

The Mabel-Canton boys basketball team fell to a couple of Southeast Conference rivals last week. The Cougars dropped the season series with Lanesboro, falling 59-42 on the road Tuesday, Jan. 7. They returned home for a tough matchup against Lyle/Pacelli on Friday night, Jan. 10, and came up short to the 10-win Athletics 75-37. The Cougars slipped to 2-11 overall (1-8 SEC).

Lost at Lanesboro, 59-42

While the Cougars dropped the regular-season series to the Burros, they were much more efficient than the first game between the two teams. The Cougars had dropped the first game 65-33 at home against Lanesboro back in early December. The difference in the rematch was a second-half Mabel-Canton shooting slump.

The Cougars scored the first basket of the game, but the Burros would go on a 10-0 scoring run to take a 19-7 lead early in the first half. Mabel-Canton answered with 10-straight points and kept the game close until they were hit by a second-half scoring slump.

The Cougars trailed by just four points (30-26) at halftime. They scored first in the second half to knock the deficit down to a bucket, but that’s as close as they would get the rest of the way.

At one point in the second half, Mabel-Canton trailed only 40-36 before things went quiet on the offensive end of the court. The team went 12-straight possessions between baskets, going 0 for 10 from the field and 2 of 6 at the free-throw line.

Meanwhile, the Burros (4-8, 2-6 SEC) extended their lead from four points to as high as 15 (53-38) and would eventually win the game by 17.

After shooting a solid 46% in the first half, Mabel-Canton hit just 29% of their second-half shots.

LHS outshot the Cougars by a small margin of 39% to 38%. However, the Burros attempted 62 shots to the Cougars’ 50, helped out by 13 more offensive rebounds and 4 fewer turnovers than M-C.

The free-throw line turned out to be another difference in the game, with Mabel-Canton trailing by three points at the stripe, hitting 5 of their 10 shots to 8 of 17 for Lanesboro.

Leading scorer Ethan Underbakke had 10 points for the Cougars. Gavin Johnson added 9 points, Brayden Gjere scored 6, and Cayden Tollefsrud scored 3 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Mabel-Canton made 17 of 46 shots in the game.

Lanesboro freshman guard John Prestemon led all scorers with 16 points (2 treys) while pulling down 8 rebounds, getting 3 steals, and dishing out 6 assists with just 1 turnover. Junior center Ryan Holmen scored 11 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.

After the B team Cougars had previously defeated Lanesboro in overtime, the M-C boys went to overtime again before pulling out another win over the Burros, this time 48-47.

Lost to L/P 75-37

The Cougars returned home on Friday night for a tough matchup against Lyle/Pacelli, a team sitting a half-game behind Randolph in the SEC West Division at the end of last week. The M-C boys couldn’t muster enough offense to keep up with the Athletics (10-3, 7-2 SEC).

The A’s came out shooting well in the first half, and the Cougars were down by 14 points (33-19) at the half. L/P picked up the pace even further in the second half, which saw Mabel-Canton outscored 42-18 after the break.

The Cougars shot the ball well from 2-point territory, they just couldn’t get enough shots to keep up. They hit 50% of their 2-point shots (13 for 26) but made just 2 of 15 attempts outside the arc. For the game, Mabel-Canton went 15 of 41 (37%) from the field.

Parker Ingvalson was the top scorer with 8 points while getting 6 rebounds and 1 steal. Johnson added 6 points (3 of 6 shooting) and 3 rebounds. Underbakke chipped in 5 points and a team-high 4 assists.

Turnovers were likely the undoing of the Mabel-Canton boys, who committed 34 miscues in the game. Defensively, the Cougars stole the ball 10 times from L/P ball-handlers while Johnson had 2 of the team’s 3 blocked shots.


The Cougars will have some extra time to rest up and get some practice in this week. Their only game of the week was scheduled for this Friday, Jan. 17, at LeRoy-Ostrander, but has been postponed. They’re back in action to start next week with a home game against Spring Grove on Tuesday, Jan. 21.  

The Cougars host Coulee Region Christian on Thursday, Jan. 23, and then Grand Meadow visits on Friday, Jan. 24.