The Moose Lake/Willow River (ML/WR) girls took on Crosby-Ironton (C-I) on February 9. C-I posted the first points at the free throw line. The Rebel defense held the Rangers to the two points allowing Natalie Mikrot and Emily Bohnsack to put ML/WR up by two. The Rebel inside game started to show some light as the they were able to penetrate the Ranger defense and hit a layup. A three-pointer by Natalie Mikrot and Ella Rhoades put the Rebels on top of the Rangers 12-6. The Rebels continued their run with a steal and two point layup to go on top 14-6. The teams answered each other and the Rebels were able to maintain the lead until the nine minute mark when the Rangers started to make a comeback. ML/WR was able to answer the Rangers but eventually C-I pulled away. The Rebel shooting went cold as the Rangers went on a 8-1 run (33-26). The Rangers took the halftime lead 39-30 into the locker room
The Rangers continued to pull away to start out the second half but the Rebels went on a five point run only to be answered by C-I. ML/WR would make their plays and keep up the fight, but the Rangers owned the second half and were able to penetrate the Rebel defense. ML/WR made a final run, but the Rangers were able to hold the Rebels off. Final score was 87-74
Natalie Mikrot lead Rebel scoring with 41 points.
“Crosby is a top team in 2A. I believe our defense needs to get better, but I was really happy with our offensive output. We took a lot of in rhythm shots and we were very efficient as a team. Limited turnovers, limited offensive rebounds and played basketball,” said Coach Mathson.
On Feb. 11, the Rebels traveled to McGregor to take on the Mercs. The game started out with both teams finding it difficult to penetrate the lane but McGregor was able to strike first. ML/WR answered with a nice layup by Skyla Thompson to begin the Rebel run. Natalie Mikrot scored back to back points putting the Rebels up 6-2. Maci Kukuk and Monica Mikrot added to the scoring to push the Rebels up 9-2. The Mercs were finally able to poke through their scoring woes with a three point shot but Sarah Cristy and Alivia Mallory added with a three pointer and free throws of their own respectively to boost the Rebel lead to 14-5. The Mercs went on a 5-0 run before the Rebels finally got to the free throw line to break the shooting drought. Rebel shooting woes continued as the Mercs pulled within one (15-14). The Mercs and Rebels were able to keep pace with each other on scoring to finish out the half. ML/WR went into the locker room ahead 27-22.
The Rebel shooting starting the second half went cold and the defense broke down allowing the Mercs to go on a nine run until a fast break allowed Sarah Cristy to add two for ML/WR (34-31). Grace Stephenson completed an old fashion three point play to tie the game at 34. The Mercs scored off an easy inbounds play to go back up by two. Skyla Thompson converted a fast break into a layup and Sarah Cristy contributed a three to put the Rebels back on top by three (39-36). Successful shooting by Sarah Cristy, Natalie Mikrot Maci Kukuk, Grace Stephenson and Ella Rhodes finished off the Mercs. Rebels win 70-49.
“This was an interesting game to say the least. The first half we played like we could do anything we wanted, but it did not work out. We needed better execution, and when we ran the plays they worked. The defense was not the best we needed to move our feet and play Rebel basketball. The second half was a little better. We started scoring and being aggressive. Rebounding better, running the floor better, and we started to pull away with eight minutes left. I think our best game is yet to come.” Coach Mathson said after the game.