By Irishdew
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Rebels are runner-ups at the Great Five State Championship games



Front row: Connor Welch, Zach Youngs, Duane Broughton, Phillip Sheetz, and Sam Dewey. Back row: Coach Angie Orvedahl, Chance Lunde, Dominick Beaulieu, Landin Kurhajetz, Logan Orvedahl, Alex Watrin, and Coach Paul Dewey.

Moose Lake Willow River Rebels' ninth grade boys basketball qualified June 23 to play in the Pacesetter Great Five State tournament held at the Target Center and Maple Grove High School on Saturday and Sunday, July 13 and 14.

The other teams that qualified were LaMoure, ND; Hull, IA; Hawley, MN; St. Joseph-Waconia Brainerd, MN; Tri-Valley, SD; and Deer River/Fond du Lac.

MLWR faced Deer River/Fond du Lac in their first game at the Target Center at 7:50 a.m. Saturday morning. The game was a great battle. Duane Broughton led in scoring, came out strong, driving in hard under the basket for lay-ups and sinking two threes. The Rebels got the victory 46-34.

Their next game was Sunday morning at Maple Grove High School against St. Joseph-Waconia. Phillip Sheetz was hot, shooting threes from the arc and far beyond, sinking five threes. Near the end of the game, St. Joseph-Waconia made a comeback, getting steals and causing turnovers. The Rebels held on and at the buzzer it was MLWR 38, St. Joseph-Waconia 36. Broughton said "One good thing about this team, if one guy isn't making his shots, there is always another player to pick up the scoring." This win qualified the Rebels to play in the championship game back at the Target Center.

Hull, IA had defeated Brainerd in their first game and Hawley, MN in the semi-finals. Minnesota's state champions, MLWR, faced Iowa state champions, Hull, for the Great Five-State championship.

Hull had several players taller than MLWR's tallest player. At half time, Hull led 23-14. The skilled Rebels executed their defensive plays and kept the Rebels in the game. Sheetz and Logan Orvedahl each hit three threes. With a couple minutes left to go in the game, Hull led by two baskets. The Rebels had to foul to try and get the ball back and their "big number 32" was six for six from the line.

Hull won the championship with 42 and runner-up MLWR 34. It was a great weekend of basketball for this Minnesota State Championship team.


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