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Prep basketball: HL-O wins close games at Glenville

In a pair of extremely closely-contested games, Heron Lake-Okabena prevailed with narrow victories in a varsity doubleheader at Glenville-Emmons High School Monday evening in Glenville, near Albert Lea.

In the opener, HL-O’s boys rallied late and claimed a 52-50 victory over the Wolverines in a game which had many lead changes. Malaki Walker and Eli Fest led the Wildcats in scoring with 18 and 14 points, respectively, while Gabe Villarreal was a force on the boards with seven rebounds. Fest dished off five assists for the Wildcats and Walker came up with four steals.

In the second game, HL-O’s Claire Rasche dribbled the length of the floor and scored the game-winning basket with about 16 seconds remaining, giving the Wildcats an exciting 42-41 win over a G-E squad, which was coming off a 59-43 victory over LeRoy-Ostrander last Friday night (December 1).

Several late free throws by Tessla Crowell, a couple of clutch baskets each by Taylor Johanning and Kiana Leighty, along with the all-around court presence of floor general Abi Fest, were among the key factors in HL-O overcoming a couple of six-point deficits in the second half.

Converting on several layups, Leighty finished with a game-high 12 points for the Wildcats before leaving the game with a possible concussion with 59 seconds remaining.

The Glenville-Emmons girls are coached by former HL-O three-sport athlete Lucas Knutson, Class of 2005.