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

By Peggy Granquist
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Lady Rebels drop a pair of games


January 10, 2019

The Moose Lake/Willow River Lady Rebels came off of the holiday break with not a very impressive start to the new year. Their first foe was conference rival Esko Eskomos on Thursday, January 3.

The Rebels started out the game with a good defensive showing taking an early 13-7 lead at the 12 minute mark in the first half, but after that, the Eskomos went on a 15-0 run and the Rebels hit a dry spell not scoring again till the five minute mark. The last two-thirds of the first half were marred by turnovers and the inability to convert Esko’s miscues. The first half ended with a 23-38 Esko lead.

The second stanza started off well for the Rebels as they scored the first six points of the half, scoring off of threes and Rebel steals and conversion points pulling within a nine-point deficit but then Esko took over and never looked back ending the game with a 69-50 win.

The Rebels were led in scoring by Natalie Mikrot, 12 points; Meghan Granquist, nine; Charis Blacklock, seven; Dallas Kukuk, nine; Ella Rhoades, four; Maci Kukuk, four; Monica Mikrot, three; and Skyla Thompson, two.

"Esko is a very solid team and they played a great game. I thought we did a good job getting after them early and we executed well to start both halves. Unfortunately we went through some dry spells and they did a great job getting the ball into their post player. I love how hard our girls play every night. It is going to pay off down the road,” Coach Padrick Judd commented.

On Friday, January 4, the Rebels met up with the Aitkin Gobblers in Aitkin. The Rebels found themselves down early in the game not scoring their first points until 10:57 in the game. The Rebels would have brief runs in the first half but not enough to get them within striking distance.

The Gobblers took a 36-16 half time lead.

The Rebels started out the 2nd half with a 6-0 run and had small “shining moments”, but it wasn’t enough to fill the gap. Natalie Mikrot had nine; Ella Rhoades, seven; Maci Kukuk, six; Charis Blacklock, six; Dallas Kukuk, five; Emily Bohnsack, two; and Carmen Hoffman, two.

"Tough to beat any team when you get down the way we did early. We shot 19 percent for the game and 59 percent from the free throw line. Despite the shooting woes, we had chances to get back in the game thanks to our relentless effort from every player. We just did not make enough plays when we had chances,” said Judd.

The ML/WR Rebels girls basketball team participated in the annual Eden Valley-Watkins holiday tournament on the tail end of winter break. Their first opponent was Osakis in a well-played game by both teams. The Rebels started with quick transition, made shots and playing tough inside defense, but too many Rebel fouls sent Osakis to the free throw line where they were able to convert the attempts into points which kept the Silverstreaks in the game. After a slow start in the second half, the Rebels won 73-66 to advance to the championship game to take on the Eden Valley-Watkins Eagles.

The Eagles advanced by beating Mayer Lutheran 45-23.

The Rebels were faced with the challenge of playing the Eagles — ranked fourth in class 2A — and rose to that challenge. The Rebels started out the game on the slow end, but behind the play of Natalie Mikrot, Chris Blacklock and Ella Rhoades, they were able to keep the score within 10 points most of the first half. With eight minutes left, the Rebels tightened up their defense to rattle the Eagles, causing turnovers and blocked shots and were able to convert the Eagles’ miscues into points. This Rebel play pulled them within five at the half with EVW leading 35-30.

After half time, the Eagles came out of the locker room and scored a quick six points pulling ahead making the score 41-30. The Rebels were able to hold the Eagles to a 10-12 point margin into the third stanza but the Eagles’ quick outlets and fast paced play eventually took its toll on the Rebels. The final score was 74-36 (EVW).

The Rebels are 6-6 overall and 2-1 in conference play.


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