Gallery: Rebels halt Cyclones
Published 9:42 pm Monday, December 22, 2014
WELLS — The trend has been late-season winning streaks for the United South Central boys’ basketball team.
Last season, the Rebels won 13 of their last 14 games. The season before that, they won six of their last seven. In 2011-13, they won 11 of their last 12.
However, USC hadn’t posted more than five wins through their first seven games for the last 10 years. Until now.
Email newsletter signup
The Rebels improved to 7-0 and maintained control of the Subsection 2AA-South standings on Monday with a 70-53 win over St. Clair, a team that entered the game with the second-best record in the subsection.
“We’ve been playing well, but I like to think we have some areas to improve on,” said USC coach Rob Stevermer. “We have a little bit of a target on our back because we won the conference last year with (NRHEG) and our subsection, so it was important to come out and play well tonight. I’m proud of our effort.”
With about 10 minutes left in the first half, the Rebels took their first double-digit lead, 20-10, on a drive down the lane by Dallas Olson. Listed at 5-feet-6-inches tall, Olson wasn’t afraid to venture into the paint.
“Since I’m a smaller guy, I like to take it inside and see if I can get through with a little floater or draw a foul,” Olson said.
Olson was one of three senior reserves who made major contributions. Olson had six points and three steals; Brennan Magnuson tallied 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists; and Cody Latusek added four points and two rebounds.
“We kind of have a trio of spark plugs,” Stevermer said. “They come off the bench and just infuse energy into the game, which is really important. It boosts us as a group, and I think they really take pride in that role.”
By halftime, USC’s Luke Trio had 12 points, and by the end of regulation he had a game-high 27.
Trio also led the Rebels as the team’s quarterback this fall. He threw for 1,847 yards and helped fellow senior Nate Pederson set single-season school records in receptions, 45, and receiving yards, 557.
The duo has shown symbiosis on the court as well.
“I got into some foul trouble last game, so Nate picked me up,” Trio said. “Tonight, he got into some foul trouble, so we came together to pick him up.”
St. Clair made a run in the second half to whittle its deficit to 10 points, 50-40, but USC’s Grant Becher and Trio each hit 3-pointers to make the Rebels a little more comfortable.
Next, the Rebels will play Jackson County Central at 6 p.m. Monday at the Blue Earth tournament. Last year, USC won the tournament by beating Jackson County Central 70-62 and Blue Earth 65-43.
“We came out with a little more mental tenacity tonight, and we’ll have to do that every night because we’re not going to get any easy ballgames,” Stevermer said. “That’s for sure.”