Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By MLWR sixth-grade girls basketball
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Young Lady Rebels finish first


The Moose Lake/Willow River Lady Rebels finish the February 14 Arrowhead League tournament in first place. Pictured celebrating the accomplishment are Kelli Granquist, Ellie Neumann, Grace Stephenson, Carmen Hoffman, Skyla Thompson, Maci Ward, Eve Faber, Grace Mikrot, Monica Mikrot, Ella Rhoades, Emily Bohnsack and Sydnee Mikrot.

It was a Valentine's Day to remember as the sixth-grade Moose Lake/Willow River Lady Rebels were in Two Harbors on February 14 to wrap up the regular season with the Arrowhead League tournament to crown the league champion. The Lady Rebels finished the regular season at 17-1 and were awarded the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

The girls came out a little sluggish in the first game but improved as the day progressed and played the championship game in what coach Alan Hoffman believes was their finest game to date.

The first game was against Carlton, which resulted in a ragged 20-10 victory.

The second game was against up-and-coming Hinckley-Finlayson. The Rebels played H-F three times this season and have managed three tight victories with margins of two, four and now three points.

The Rebels girls found themselves down at the half 8-7.

The coaches made a couple of adjustments at halftime and the Rebels pulled ahead for good midway into the second half but it was never far apart as points were hard to come by. Hinckley-Finlayson's desperation heave at the buzzer for three points fell short to hold on to a hard-fought 15-12 win.

The final game featured the Rebels against arch-rival Esko. Esko cruised through their bracket, beating No. 2 seed South Ridge convincingly to enter the title game. South Ridge represents the only blemish on the Rebels record this season, so the coaches expected a battle.

The opening tip went to Esko and they scored a quick layup. That pretty much ends the highlights for Esko, as the Rebels came right back, scored and continued to score with the lead ballooning to 10-2.

"The girls started making shots that, honestly, we have struggled to do consistently all year. As coaches, we have seen this team respond to being 'fired up' by the coaches more so than any X's and O's ever accomplished, so we just kept hollering and screaming encouragement after every great play. The incredibly supportive fan base of family and extended family joined in. I thought we were at a home game and the whole community was there!" said Hoffman.

The Rebels dominated with a 27-13 victory.

"It was a great team effort with contributions all the way down the 12-member bench," said Hoffman.

The team is coached by Hoffman, Chad Ward and Peggy Granquist.


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