St. Cloud Cathedral High School held their 2021 Crusader Christmas Basketball Classic holiday tournament on December 28, 29, and 30. Participating teams were Melrose, Spectrum (Elk River), Litchfield, Milaca, Concordia Academy St. Paul, Royalton, St. Cloud Cathedral and Moose Lake Willow River. MLWR had three days of very physical games, but came out on top to win the tournament. On Tuesday they defeated Concordia Academy by 10, 86-76. On Wednesday, in the semi-finals against St, Cloud Cathedral, the Rebels won, 59-54. In the championship game on Thursday, Dec. 29 against Spectrum of Elk River, the Rebels won 77-74. 

 The Rebels took on the Concordia Academy St. Paul Beacons for their first game of the tournament. The game was close the entire game. The Rebels were in the lead at halftime 43-40. The Rebels scored 43 in the second half also, while the Beacons made 36. Leading scorer for the Rebels was Alex Watrin with 27, making 10 out of 14 put backs for 71 percent. Logan Orvedahl had 20, Phillip Sheetz 14, Duane Broughton 13, Sam Dewey 11, and Chance Lunde with 1. Concordia’s Alfonso Greene scored 36 and Lorenzo Levy had 21. The Rebels made 10 threes and the Beacons sunk 13. Sheetz put 4 in from beyond the arch, Sam Dewey had 3, Orvedahl 2 and Broughton 1. For the Beacons, Greene put in 6, Levy 5, Swanson and Olson each with 1. Watrin, besides leading the team in scoring, pulled down 27 rebounds. Sam Dewey was there to grab 5. Lunde and Broughton each had 4.  

 On Wednesday, the Rebels faced the host team, Cathedral Crusaders, at 5:30 p.m. finishing with a five-point victory 59-54. The Crusaders had a height advantage with only three of their 14 players under six-feet tall. That didn’t seem to matter for the Rebels. They led at halftime 33-25. Cathedral outscored the Rebels in the second half 29-26, but the Rebels held on to the lead. MLWR turned the ball over 25 times. Sam Dewey and Broughton led in assists with 3 each. Watrin ended the game with 25 rebounds.  

 Sheetz led in scoring with 17, Broughton 13, Orvedahl 8, Sam Dewey 6, Luke Dewey, Jimmy Walker, and Lunde each had 4. Watrin finished with 3. Sheetz made 4 from beyond the arch. Sam Dewey and Orvedahl each made 2. Broughton had 1. Crusader senior, Jordan Schumann, was leading scorer with 22. Broughton had a great game, but left late in the game with an ankle injury and was out the championship game on Thursday.  

 This second victory qualified the Rebels to play in the championship game against the Spectrum Sting of Elk River on Thursday evening. Spectrum is a 6AA team in Minnesota Classical Athletic Association conference. Spectrum had defeated Melrose to get to the semi-finals against Milaca. They beat Milaca by 3, 70-67. During their regular season, the Sting lost to Milaca in their first game of the season, 76-66. They won the rest of their regular season games. The Sting defeated Rush City in overtime 68-60 and Pine City by one, 78-77. 

 Spectrum’s coach, Justin Femrite, had his team prepared to win the tournament, winning the first two games against Melrose and Milaca. Six-foot-six Landon Siegel led in scoring for Spectrum with 23 and Carter Femrite with 20 points.  

 The Rebels never trailed the Sting. At halftime the Rebels led 38-37 and finished the game 77-74, never trailing and winning the championship game. Sheetz and Orvedahl each had 4 from beyond the arch. Orvedahl scored 27, Sheetz 20, Sam Dewey and Watrin had 13, and Lunde with 4. (Dewey had 14, but the scorers’ table missed recording it.) Watrin was the rebounding hero grabbing another 25 in this game for a total of 77 rebounds for the tournament. Orvedahl and Sheetz were selected to the all-tournament team. 

 MLWR Rebels (8-2) 7AA Polar League Big conference will face Cromwell-Wright (4-3) 5A Polar League Small in Moose Lake on Friday, January 7. On Monday, January 10, the Rebels will have a road trip to East Central (2-7) 5A Great River Conference. The Rebels will be in Rush City on Tuesday, January 11, to play the Tigers (4-1) 6AA Great River Conference. Rush City’s only loss is an overtime game with Spectrum 68-60. Game times are 5:45/7:15 p.m.

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