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

By Scott Olson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Third place for MLWR traveling team


March 29, 2018

Photo submitted

On Saturday, March 24, the Moose Lake/Willow River girls eighth grade travel team headed south to Rochester for the Pacesetter Region 1 Tournament. The Rebels faced off against Lake City in the first game. Lake City won this tourney last year, then went on to win the Pacesetter State Tournament. They then won the Pacesetter 4 State Championships at the Xcel Energy Center. This is a very talented team. With both teams starting off slow, and the Rebels even leading at one point, Lake City hit their stride with their taller players inside and ended up beating the Rebels 24 to 41. Lake City went on to defeat their next two opponents to win the tourney.

Next up for the Rebels was MN Valley Lutheran, a team they have never played against. This time the Rebels came out strong and lead most of the game with MN Valley keeping it close. The Rebels started running a fast offense that was too much for MN Valley and the Rebel's pulled away for a 58 to 43 win.

In their final game of the day, the Rebels took on Rochester who had two players over six feet tall. She was a very powerful player and was their key scorer on the inside. The Rebels tried to do what they could against her but just did not have the height to block her inside shooting. She had about 18 of their first 24 points. That is not to say the Rebels sat back and watched her score. They held their own and found their own ways to score against them. It was a back and forth game with Rochester leading throughout the game, but the Rebels kept it close and only ended up losing 42 to 49. It was the best game of their day to watch, even though they lost.

The Rebels ended up taking third place for the tournament, which qualifies them for the Pacesetter MIT Tournament to be held in Maple Grove in June. All players on the team scored in one way or another. Leading the team was Natalie Mikrot with 42, Alivia Mallory 28, Maci Kukuk 24, Ava North 15, Janna Bode six, Grace Jordan four, JoJo Fossum two and Simone Pruette one. A number of players also had three-pointers. Leading them was Maci Kukuk with five, Ava North two, Natalie Mikrot one and Alivia Mallory one. JoJo Fossum led the team in defensive rebounds and had a very tough day against 6' plus players on the inside in two of the games but held her own against them.

Next up for the Rebels is the Pacesetter Region 4 Tournament in Moose Lake and Willow River on Saturday and Sunday April 7 and 8. Come watch all the Rebel teams, both girls and boys, from grades four through nine.


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