Cardinals soar past Rebels
January 27, 2023
Entering the game between Cromwell-Wright and Moose Lake/Willow River, the Cardinals had 12 wins and the Rebels just a single win. One of the reasons for the Cardinals' strong season, Sascha Korpela, who celebrated a landmark moment Monday, scoring her 1,000th career point on a free throw during the game at Moose Lake.
Cardinals head coach Jeff Gronner said it was fun to watch.
"She means so much to this team on offense, but what people don't realize is how good she is on the defensive side of the floor," he said. "On defense, she averages eight steals a game and those steals usually result in an easy basket on the other end of the floor."
While the Cards pulled away to a 66-43 win and their 13th victory of the season, the Rebels showed they have some things to be excited about as well.
"We got ahead early and caused them some problems, but I liked the way they continued to work against us," Gronner said of the Rebels.
The Cardinals put on their usual full-court pressure and trapping defense, which caused numerous turnovers by the Rebels. That allowed the Cards to get some quick and easy transition baskets.
"They are just a good solid team and they do so much so well," said Rebels head coach Zak Mathson. "You can't make mistakes against them and you have to take care of the basketball, and early on in the game we struggled with that."
Korpela had an impressive first half with 20 points for the Cards and finished with a game-high 22 points in the game.
"Sascha has just had a really good couple of seasons here for us," Gronner said. "She does everything for us. She scores, she plays defense, she rebounds and she passes the ball well. That's about all you can ask."
Isabella Anderson also had a great first half for C-W with 14 points. Anderson finished with 20 points on the night.
"Isabella just finds the basket and she is very aggressive and physical," Gronner said. "She attacks the basket on both ends of the floor and she is good on the boards for us."
Cromwell-Wright led the game 42-20 at halftime, but the Rebels continued to plug away and ended up hitting nine 3-pointers in the game.
"We don't have that one big scorer, so all of our players have to chip in for us," Mathson said. "At the beginning of the year we had a lot of players looking for someone else to score. Now everyone is looking for a shot and they are not afraid to try and make a play."
Maddie Volk led the Rebels with nine points, while Shannon Granquist scored eight. Hannah Roach and Madison Wasche had seven each, Ellie Nielson added five points, Adelyn Scyczrbak scored four and Lexi Anderson made three points.
Joining Korpela and Anderson in scoring from Cromwell-Wright were Emaleigh Olesiak with nine points, Siiena Anderson with seven, Jill Anderson four, Mya Gronner two and Bryanna Foster and Marissa Dahl each scored one.
The win improved the Cards record to 13-3 on the season and the loss drops the Rebels record to 1-13.