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

By Peggy Granquist
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Mikrot makes 1000th point, Rebels play 3 teams


December 12, 2019

Watrin 6 Photography

Natalie Mikrot making her 1000th point.

Last week was long and tough for the Lady Rebels, not to mention emotional. Last Tuesday, the Rebels played Mesabi East in Moose Lake. The team knew it would be a tough game going in as they had to manage Ava Hill from Mesabi East (who set her own 2000th point record that night). The game turned out to be a record game as MLWR's Natalie Mikrot made her 1000th point early in the game with a 3-pointer. Natalie only needed 3 points going into the game. The girls also set a team record with 16 3-point shots. The Rebels kept pace with the Giants point for point. MLWR had a 41-40 lead at the half.

The Rebels hung in there until the end of the third quarter when they ran out of gas. Mesabi East was able to get ahead and maintain the lead through the rest of the game, winning the game 83-68.

"Mesabi East is not only one of the best teams in the section, but one of the best teams in the state for 2A," said Coach Judd. "We did a nice job containing their top two scorers but unfortunately we had too many turnovers that led to transition baskets for Mesabi East. Very happy with how we shot the basketball tonight, but we still haven't reach our ceiling shooting. Crazy to say when you make 16 3-point baskets but our girls are capable of shooting better, and you can tell that they expect to make every shot. Fun game and fun to see two girls break milestones in the same game."

The emotions and physical night of Tuesday showed on Thursday as the Rebels started out slow versus Milaca, only to commit fouls and turnovers which the Wolves were able to capitalize on. Milaca scored a good portion of their points in the first half from the free throw line enabling them to take a 33-26 lead into the locker room at half time.

In the second half, the Rebels were able to pull within 3 at 39-36 but hit a cold stretch allowing the Wolves to pull away to 45-36 before Natalie Mikrot hit a 3-pointer, making it 45-39. The Rebels allowed too many easy inside shots that weren't always answered by the Rebels, which enabled the Wolves to pull away every time the Rebels attempted a comeback. The Rebels came within 4 at the end of the game (69-65) when Natalie Mikrot went for a 3-point shot and got fouled. She made 2 of the 3. MLWR was able to get the rebound but was unable to convert. Rebels lost, 69-67.

"Even though we lost the game, it felt like a win," said Coach Judd. "Despite the turnovers and missed shots inside, we found a way to claw back into the game. I am so proud of our girls' effort and determination. They play so hard, and they want to get better. Tonight they got better! We have stressed the importance of understanding end of the game situations and executing down the stretch. The girls were able to put it all together in the final 3 minutes, and it was fun to see the girls build more trust and confidence in each other and themselves. After tonight, they won't ever feel like they are out of a game. We are going to be a very good team if we can continue to learn what makes us successful and what mistakes we have to avoid."

On Friday, MLWR traveled to Mora to take on the Mustangs. It proved to be an easier night for the Rebels as they were able to capitalize on fast breaks. The Rebels started out fast, taking the lead with a score of 21-6. The Mustangs scored 7 unanswered points before Ella Rhoades hit a free throw and Maci Kukuk made a layup to break the drought at 24-13. Mora hit two more buckets before both teams went on another 3-minute scoring drought until N. Mikrot hit a 3 to make it 27-17. MLWR took a 38-25 lead into the locker room at the half after Carmen Hoffman hit 2 free throws.

The Rebels continued to pull away in the second half with 3 pointers by Ella Rhoades and Monica Mikrot as well as great hustle and grit from the rest of the team. MLWR won. 77-52.

"Very nice team win for us," said Coach Judd. "The girls started fast and did a good job forcing turnovers early. I was happy to see us shoot well from the field and on the free throw line. The biggest concern going into the game was how tired our legs might be playing the third game of the week. I thought our girls did a great job in the game and still had a nice pace to the game. Hopefully we can keep it going next week."


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