The Moose Lake-Willow River Rebels girls basketball team struggled at the free throw line and the Mercuries were hot from three point land the Rebels fell by a score of 48-44 in Willow River on Thursday, January 24. McGregor had to hold on as they had a 28-21 lead in the first half. The Mercuries improved to 15-2 with the close win while the Rebels went to a record of 11-5 with the loss.
McGregor junior guard Abby Hawkinson, despite sitting out much of the second half with four fouls, hit a total of five threes and finished with 27 points to lead all scorers. Rebel Adri Jusczak had a fine game with a double-double. The sophomore forward ended up with 19 points and 12 rebounds for ML-WR.
The Rebels, by far, had the stronger inside game. ML-WR went 7-for-16 on the inside in the first half and was 6-for-18 in the paint in the second to finish to 13-for-35 (37 percent). The shorter Mercuries were 5-for-17 in the first half and just 3-for-12 in the second half to end up at only 8-for-29 (28 percent) for the game.
However, McGregor went 4-for-8 and 3-for-8 from three land by halves to finish at a hot 7-for-16 (44 percent) for the game. The Rebels were 2-for-6 and 2-for-8 by halves from outside the arc to go only 4-for-14 (29 percent) on threes for the game.
Plus, McGregor stepped to the line to hit 6-for-8 in the first half and 5-for-10 in the second half to go a decent 11-for-18 (61 percent) for the game. The Rebels were 1-for-5 and 5-for-11 in the second at the line to go just 6-for-15 (40 percent) for the game at the stripe.
ML-WR, behind Jusczak’s dozen rebounds, hit the boards for 14 rebounds in each half to finish the game with 28 rebounds. That was a 2-1 ratio as the much shorter Mercuries were able to muster seven boards in each half to wind up with only 14 rebounds for the game.
The teams were close on steals, but McGregor did have three thefts in each as compared to one and three takeaways for ML-WR by halves for a 6-4 edge on the steals for the Mercuries in the game.
ML-WR had the better passing at five, to only one notable feed for a score for McGregor. However, the Rebels had their troubles taking care of the basketball as they had 10 turnovers in the first. ML–WR cut that stat in half as they committed only five toss-aways in the second half to finish with 15 lost possessions for the game. McGregor was not much better in the department as they had six and five by halves for 11 turnovers in the game.
The following represents points (including three-pointers) for the Mercuries. Hawkinson: 27 (five three-pointers), Korinna Mickelson: eight (one three-pointer), Kendra Mickelson: six, Amy Gelhar: three (one three-pointer), and Gretchen Grams: one.
The following represents points (including three-pointers), rebounds, steals and assists for the Rebels. Jusczak: 19, 12, 0, 2; Taylor Miller: 8 (including two three-pointers), 3, 1, 0; Shaelyn Halverson: 6 (including one three-pointer), 1, 0, 0; Kayla Radel: 3, 2, 0, 0; Hayley Johnson: 3, 5, 1, 0; Tayler Dixon: 3 (including one three-pointer), 3, 0, 1; Holly Mattison: 2, 1, 0, 0; and Jodi Michalski: 0, 0, 0, 1.
The Rebels are not at home again until Thursday, February 14 when they host the Cloquet Lumberjacks. Tip time is 7:15 p.m. Before that, it’s a showdown with Carlton on January 31, Hinckley-Finlayson on February 5 and Esko on February 7.