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PREP BASKETBALL: Wolverines take down Wildcats

OKABENA -- Mountain Lake Area's Josh Grev sank a pair of free throws with 11.7 seconds remaining Thursday night, snapping a 78-all tie and lifting the visiting Wolverines to a hard-fought 80-78 Red Rock Conference boys' basketball victory over Southwestern United.

MLA (3-2, 3-0), which won its third consecutive game, vaulted out to an early 17-3 lead in the contest and finished the game 24-of-32 at the free throw line, including an 8-for-8 performance by Carter Kirk (game-high 20 points, 10 rebounds, six blocks), who scored 14 timely points in the second half.

Wolverine teammate Josiah Stoesz also had a big night with 19 points (9-of-12 at the free throw stripe), along with eight rebounds and four steals.

Both Zach Dickens and Cody Klassen scored 12 points for MLA, which never trailed in the game and opened up a pair of eight-point leads in the closing minutes before the Wildcats rallied to tie the contest twice.

Andrew Hempeck had five assists for the Wolverines, who host Lakeview in their own holiday tournament Dec. 27,

Five players notched double figures for SWU (0-3, 0-2), including Matthew Soto (15), Andrew Kramer (15), Brandon Thurk (12), Cole Bosma (12) and Aaron Fest (10).

The Wildcats finished the first half strong, capping a strong run with a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Bosma after a steal, slicing MLA's lead to 48-45.

SWU came within one point several times early in the second half, but the Wolverines continued to maintain the advantage, until a free throw by the Wildcats' Erik Jass knotted the score at 76 with less than two minutes left.

Stoesz put the Wolverines ahead by two, 78-76, with a pair of free throws with 1:05 remaining.

A steal and a basket by Kramer with 33 seconds to play tied the score again before Grev's two free throws completed the scoring.

In addition to his 12 points, Bosma turned in a stellar all-around night for the Wildcats with five rebounds, three steals and a trio of assists.

Thurk (six rebounds), Zach Schumacher (five rebounds, four steals), Mark Ferguson (three assists) and Fest (three steals) were other statistical leaders for the Wildcats, who host Lincoln HI tonight (8 p.m.) in the second game of the Candy Cane Classic.

Lakeview and Westbrook-Walnut Grove battle in the opening contest at 6:30 p.m. The four-team tournament concludes Saturday afternoon in Okabena with the third-place varsity game, scheduled to start at approximately 3:30 p.m.

MLA 48 32 -- 80

SWU 45 33 -- 78

Edgerton 87, H-BC 65

HILLS -- The Edgerton Flying Dutchmen dialed in from beyond the arc Thursday night, making a dozen 3-pointers and improving to 3-0 overall and in the Red Rock Conference with an 87-65 victory over the Hills-Beaver Creek Patriots.

Brett Ford led the way for the Dutchmen with 27 points, while Austin Mertens added 16 points and eight rebounds, Isaac Heard totaled 15 points and seven assists and Jesse Berning chipped in 11 points.

Jeff Sandbulte and Dylan Gehrke paced the Patriots with 22 and 20 points, respectively. Carey Taubert added 12 points. Sandbulte, Gehrke and Taubert each collected six rebounds.

Hills-Beaver Creek (1-4, 1-2) travels to Luverne tonight, while Edgerton hosts Mountain Lake Area on Jan. 4.

Edgerton 47 40 -- 87

Hills-BC 28 37 -- 65

Ellsworth 70, MCC 50

ELLSWORTH -- Mitch Leuthold and Justin Kruse each topped 20 points as the Ellsworth Panthers defeated the Murray County Central Rebels in Red Rock Conference action.

Leuthold finished with a game-high 22 points and also snatched four steals, while Kruse was right behind with 21 points. Daniel Kramer added a stat line of 10 points, four assists and four steals, Johnathon Kramer dished out five assists and Tim Nolte topped the Panthers' rebound chart with nine.

Jack Thony and Darien Schreiber paced the Rebels with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Ellsworth has won two of its past three games, improving to 2-4 overall and 2-1 in the conference. The Panthers return to action Thursday when they play Truman/Martin Luther in a tournament hosted by Mountain Lake Area.

Murray County Central (2-4, 2-1) is off until Jan. 4 when the Rebels host Westbrook-Walnut Grove.

MCC 17 33 -- 50

Ellsworth 33 37 -- 70


George-Little Rock 45,

Fulda 43

GEORGE, Iowa -- Jessica Sandbulte put up a game-high 15 points for the George-Little Rock Mustangs in a non-conference girls basketball win over the Fulda Raiders Thursday.

With Fulda up by one with a minute and a half left, Danielle Eben made two free throws to put George-Little Rock ahead by a point. The Mustangs went to the foul line again with 30 seconds later and Teyha Graham made one of two free throws to put the Mustangs up by two.

From there, the Mustangs defense held strong to complete the win.

Taylor Carstensen picked up 10 points and seven rebounds for G-LR, while Eben pulled down eight rebounds to go along with six points.

Sariah Cheadle had a team-high 11 points for the Raiders and Rachel Cheadle had 17 rebounds.

Both teams play tonight as the Mustangs (6-4, 4-4 Siouxland Conference) host Boyden-Hull, while the Raiders (6-2, 3-1 Red Rock Conference) travel to play the Edgerton Flying Dutchmen.

Fulda 12 8 14 9 -- 43

G-LR 10 9 7 19 -- 45

Minneota 73, SWC 56

EDGERTON -- Taylor Reiss scored 23 points, Emily Stienessen added 17 and Molly Hennen collected 15 rebounds to lead the Minneota Vikings to a non-conference girls' basketball win over the Southwest Christian Eagles Thursday night.

Jennifer Schmidt topped the Eagles' charts with 14 points and eight rebounds. Amber Pater added 12 points and three assists for SWC, while Morgan Van Hulzen grabbed six boards and Hannah Van Dyke claimed seven steals.

Southwest Christian (4-4, 3-0 Red Rock Conference) hosts Ellsworth Jan. 3.

Minneota 39 24 -- 73

SW Christian 24 32 -- 56