By Mary Ellen Dewey
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Three-year champions of Winter Classic


Mary Ellen Dewey

Front row, left to right: Brady Robbins, Kobe Kirk, Adam Neumann, Kaden Robbins, and Luke Dewey. Back row: Coach Chad Robbins, Joey Steen, Coach Al Von Rueden, Nolan Nelson, Tyler Von Rueden, Hunter Van Heel, and Coach Paul Dewey.

The MLWR sixth grade boys' basketball team competed in the Pacesetter March Winter Classic Basketball tournament on Saturday, March 3, at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph Minn. Thompson, N.D., Sartell, Hutchinson, Monticello, Rocori, New Ulm Cathedral and Bagley were the other teams playing for the top spot. 

The first game the Rebels played was against New Ulm Cathedral. At half-time the score was 13-0. All the players on the team scored. At the end of the game Rebels won 33-8. This win moved them to the winners bracket.

Their next game was against Thompson ND. MLWR had watched Thompson play last summer when the Rebels won the Great Four State championship at the Target Center. Thompson had defeated Bagley 35-9 in the first round of this tournament. The two teams' scores were similar and MLWR was ready for some competition. It was a close game all the way. MLWR led at the half 19-16. The Rebels intense defense gave them the edge and they won 41-32. In this game both teams committed 11 fouls. MLWR was 9 for 18 at the line. Thompson shot eight free throws making six.

This win placed the young ball handlers in the championship game against Sartell. Sartell beat Monticello in a close one, 30-27. Sartell had two big guys that could match up with the Rebels inside players. At the half MLWR led 18-14. In the second half, Sartell brought in a big guy that hadn't played in the first half and he scored 11 points. Near the end of the game, the Rebels took care of the ball and Sartell had to foul to stop the clock and get the ball back. MLWR was five for eight at the free throw line winning the championship 37-32.

These Rebels won the championship as fourth graders and also as fifth graders. Nolan Nelson had 16 points, Hunter Van Heel 10, Luke Dewey had six, Kaden Robbins with three and Adam Neumann had two. 


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