By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Underdog stories this time of year are always fun.

And in the town of McGregor, the boys’ basketball team has truly overcome the odds.

Just a few years ago, their junior high teams couldn’t win a game the entire season.

“Only five boys in a class. You have to make what you can with what you got,” said Coach Josh Wahlin.

With just 91 kids in the entire school, finding enough players can be a challenge. And depending on the year, sometimes the numbers just don’t add up on the roster, and then on the court.

“Against Esko, my ninth and 10th grade years it was pretty bad. I think it was 112 to 15 my ninth grade year,” said senior Cole Gelhar. “Not good.”

No one appreciates just how far the McGregor boys have come like junior Carson Passer. It’s not that Carson’s junior high teams had a bad, losing season. They just didn’t win any games for years.

That’s what makes this turn around so special. McGregor went 23-3 this year, thanks in large part to Carson’s three-pointers and Cole Gelhar’s dunks.

Even more special is that Carson, Gelhar and senior Billy Staska all joined the 1,000-point club this season.

“The strength is all up here. We know what it’s like to lose, we know what it’s like to win,” Staska said.

And that’s the fun part. They’re now beating teams that used to beat them by 40 points — or more.

“They are good in the classroom, good outside the classroom,” Coach Wahlin said. “They represent the program really, really well. They come to work every day.”

McGregor hit 18 three-pointers in a game earlier this year.

They are the number-two seed in their section and will play Pine River Thursday night.


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