Boys basketball: Ruberg stymied by Rebels
Two Harbors senior Jayden Ruberg came in the Agates game against on Moose Lake-Willow River on a tear.
Ruberg leads the area in scoring with nearly 35 points a game and over the two previous games had scored 58 against Silver Bay and 43 against Cook County.
The ML-WR defenders were up to the challenge, though, forcing the Ruberg to fight through double teams throughout the game and limiting him to just 13 points, one of his lowest totals of the season, in a 69-38 win for the Rebels.
Coach Wes Cummins said his team spent most of the week preparing for the special challenge Ruberg presents. Almost every time down the court, he was met with a double team at half-court and was harried by Rebel defenders wherever he went.
"We had three days to prepare for him," Cummins said. "We specifically came into this game wanting to take the ball out of his hands. Any chance we could double him, triple team him, just get the ball out of his hands. We came into it saying if we hold him in the 20s, that's a good game for us. He'll score 20 even if he's double teamed, he's just that good of a player."
In the opening minutes, it looked like Ruberg might give the Rebels trouble, too, when he hit his first jumper. But as the double and triple teams took their toll, the Rebels were able to stretch the lead to 18 points with just a few minutes to play in the first half.
Two Harbors went on a small run to end the half, though, outscoring ML-WR 8-4 over the final two minutes, trailing 36-22 when they went into the locker room.
The Rebels would continue to frustrate Ruberg in the second half and their size advantage would begin to assert itself. Sophomore Brady Watrin and senior Adam Dragicevich are listed at 6-foot-4 — taller than anyone on the Agates' roster.
The pair combined to score 28 points — 15 for Watrin and 13 for Dragicevich — and stretch the lead to more than 35 points. Both coaches pulled their starters late in the game in favor of reserves over the final few minutes of the game.
Two Harbors (6-12) is scheduled to play South Ridge at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, in Two Harbors.
Two Harbors 22-16—38
Moose Lake-WR 36-33—69
Two Harbors — Cam Bugge 2, Carson Wenger 7, Ricky Brenna 1, Jeremy Carter 6, Jayden Ruberg 13, Cam Mackey 5, Clark Nelson 2, Ryan Nowacki 2. Totals 14 6-14 38.
3-point goals — Wenger, Carter, Ruberg, Mackey.
Moose Lake-Willow River — Brady Watrin 15, Phillip Sheetz 3, Adam Dragicevich 13, Carter Klund 3, Mason Olson 5, Logan Orvedahl 4, Ben Dewey 4, Michael Olson 4, Duane Broughton 6, Eli Werner 3, Carter Johnson 9. Totals 28 5-14 69.
3-point goals — Watrin, Sheetz, Mason Olson, Orvedahl, Broughton, Werner, Johnson.