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

By Peggy Granquist
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Laby Rebels win 2 out of 3, battle Pillager in overtime


February 28, 2019

The ML/WR Lady Rebels played 3 games this past week to finish off their regular season. Monday was a make-up game in Two Harbors, Pine City on Tuesday and Pillager on Thursday.

First up was Two Harbors for the final conference game of the season. It was a back and forth game in the first half with each team trading baskets. Both teams played pretty solid defense and were able to transition down the court successfully. The Rebels went into the locker room at half-time 35-33 after the buzzer beater by Ella Rhoades with 2 seconds left in the half

The Rebels scored the first 3 points of the second half with Ella Rhoades' rebound and put back off of an unsuccessful attempt by Meghan Granquist. With that score came a foul and successful free throw by Rhoades. The Rebels tightened up their defense and were able to converts steals and rebounds into Rebel points. ML/WR extended their lead to 50-37. The two teams traded baskets and free throws the remaining of the second half but the Rebels were able to close the game with a 78-59 victory.

"It was a nice win for our program and a great way to finish off the conference schedule," said Coach Judd. "Anytime you shoot 55% from the floor that makes the game much easier. We did a nice job finding and taking good shots and that made a big difference in our scoring. Twenty-six assists shows that we played a great team game on offense."

On Tuesday, the Rebels welcomed Pine City to town. The final score, however, did not really reflect the play of the girls. Pine City started out the game with a 4-0 lead but the Rebels were able to tie it at 6 eventually pulling ahead 8-6. Pine City stretched the lead to 20-13 but the Rebels, again, were able to cut it to 24-22 and then tie it at 24 with 7 minutes in the first half. The Dragons' 3-point shooting and on point passing pushed them ahead to a 42-37 half-time lead.

ML/WR hung with the Dragons in the early part of the second half. However, the Dragons' tough half-court press was difficult for the Rebels to handle. Pine City also had their 3-point shooting game and inside scoring working well for them. The Dragons eventually pulled ahead to a 78-61 victory.

Coach Judd said, "Pine City is a very good team. They have some real solid players and they are a great passing team. They were able to move the ball well and defensively we got caught reacting to their passing instead of anticipating passes. We played a good half against them but too many turnovers in the second half. Credit to them for making good adjustments on us at half time.”

The final regular season game and Senior Night was Thursday against Pillager. The 8 seniors that will be graduating are Elliana Schaumburg, Meghan Granquist, Hannah Jirovec, Kennedy Janke, Charis Blacklock, Sara Michels, Dallas Kukuk and Lexi Tekippe (manager).

Charis Blacklock started out the Rebel scoring. After that, it was another back and forth battle between the two teams. Pillager pulled ahead early in the first half but the Rebels were able to come back and, thanks to Natalie Mikrot’s 3-point buzzer beater at the end of the first half, the Rebels took a 26-20 lead into the locker room.

The second half saw much of the same back and forth scoring with both teams sharing the lead throughout the game. Pillager had the lead late in the second half but the Rebels were able to keep the game close enough to stay in the game. With the score 53-51 (Pillager) and about 8 seconds left, Pillager missed a free throw. Charis Blacklock got the rebound, dribbled it down, and passed to Natalie Mikrot who in turn passed to Meghan Granquist who shot with time running out. Granquist hit the 2-point buzzer beater, evening the score to 53-53 and sending the game into overtime.

Granquist won the OT tip and Natalie Mikrot took it in for the first 2 points of the session. Mikrot continued her on point scoring by hitting her free throws which gave the Rebels the win, 63-59, ending their regular season and Senior Night on a high note.

"The fans definitely got their money's worth tonight," said Coach Judd. "Anytime you can get a win on Senior Night you feel good about it, but the way we won after so many great moments and performances makes this a special night. The seniors will never forget this night. There were so many great plays down the stretch it is hard to separate any from the rest. Obviously Meghan's basket at the buzzer to put us in overtime will be one of the memories that people remember. It was something that we worked on in practice and it actually worked to end the first half as well when Natalie knocked down a three at the buzzer.

"I am just happy for these seniors. They all contributed to the outcome of this game and their years of hard work along with ups and downs paid off tonight. Proud of each of them and we will miss them next year.”

The Lady Rebels begin their playoffs in Aitkin on Thursday. Go Rebels!


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