Rebels Get Key Conference Victory
The Southwest Minnesota Christian Eagles came to town sporting a perfect 5-0 record. The Rebels, meanwhile, were coming off three straight close margin defeats. With both schools having a great fan base following, the MCC gym was packed with a crowd eager for a good game and that is definitely is what they received.
It would be the Rebels that would strike first as Noah Boerboom was able to get to the rim following a pass from Jack Pierson to put the Rebels up 2-0. It looked as if it was going to be an offensive showdown as both teams would connect on their next few possessions to get knotted at 8-8 a few minutes into the game. MCC would pick up the defensive pressure, slowing down the Eagle attack in route to a thirteen to three run to take a 21-11 advantage halfway through the first half. The Eagles would regain some offense but the Rebels would continue to find ways to score holding onto a double digit lead, 36-25, going into halftime.
The Eagles would pick up their defensive pressure in the second half, getting the Rebel offense out of rhythm. Doing so, they would slowly cut into the Rebel lead getting it down to two, 56-54, with 2:58 left in the game to play. The next possession sophomore Blake Schmitz would drive baseline to bring the Rebels’ lead back up to four. The Eagles would follow by getting one point from the free throw line. The Rebels would work their offense and get a couple looks inside the paint but the shots would not fall giving the ball back to the Eagles. They would take advantage of that, getting into the paint on a drive to cut the lead down to one with 1:05 to play in regulation. Following a Rebel turnover, the Eagles would again attack the paint this time drawing the foul. There they would connect on one of two to tie the game up, 58-58, with 40 seconds to go in the game. The Rebels would work the ball around taking time off the clock before calling a timeout with nine seconds to play. They would get a shot off but couldn’t get it to fall sending the game to overtime.
Each team would fall short on their opening possessions of overtime before MCC senior Jack Pierson would connect for two following a drive to the hoop. Justin Benda would steal the ensuing inbound pass and go in for two of his own to quickly give the Rebels a four-point advantage, 62-58. The Eagles would get to the line but would be unable to convert, fouling Pierson on the rebound sending him to the line where he would knock down both free throws. The Eagles would answer back with a three pointer to cut the lead down to three. The Rebels’ offense would respond with Nate Everson driving to the hoop making the shot while being fouled, where he would also connect at the line to extend the lead back up to six. The Rebel defense would tighten up holding the Eagles scoreless the rest of the game, forcing the SWC to foul late in the game. They would be able to knock down the free throws extending their lead in route to a 73-61 win.
This win snapped the Rebels three game losing streak and earned themselves a key conference victory. “The boys responded well after SWC fought back and forced overtime”, stated head coach Tim Bobeldyk. “Our rebounding and shooting at the free throw line were huge in the extra stanza and propelled us to a win.”
Nate Everson would have a big night, scoring 28 points while also dishing out 6 assists. Jack Pierson recorded another double double tallying 14 points and 12 rebounds. Spencer Wajer also scored in double figures finishing with 15. The win improves their overall record to 6-3 and 2-1 in the Red Rock Conference.
Rebels Pick Up Nonconference Win
The Rebels traveled to Cottonwood to take on the Lakeview Lakers in the first meeting between these two schools in quite some time. The Lakers, members of the Camden Conference, are a section opponent in the northern half.
The Rebels would quick jump out to a 5-0 lead after Spencer Wajer knocked down a three point shot to start the game, followed by Jack Pierson connecting on a two point shot. The Lakers would answer back on a 5-0 run of their own to tie the game up. The two teams would exchange baskets the next few minutes of the first half, with neither team able to extend a lead. After being knotted up at 21 late in the first half, the Lakers would go on a 11-4 run to go into halftime with a 32-25 lead.
As they have done much of the season, the Rebels would respond in the second half. They would vary their defense throughout the half keeping the Lakers offense off balance. The Rebel offense meanwhile would be much more deliberate with the ball, creating good looks at the hoop. That combination would give the Rebels a lead with eleven minutes to go in the game, one they would never give up. Solid defense and ball control would guide MCC to a 67-59 victory.
Nate Everson finished the night tallying 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assist to lead the Rebels. Fellow seniors Spencer Wajer and Jack Pierson scored 19 and 10 points respectively. Justin Benda and Blake Schmitz matched Everson’s rebound total, 8, while Benda also collected 6 assist on the night. The win moves MCC’s record to 7-3 on the year.