(Note: This post includes updates on M-CA boys basketball, girls basketball, MBA Storm girls hockey, boys hockey and MAHACA wrestling.)
Tuesday, Feb. 15, brought an example of the up and down nature of prep sports. The M-CA boys basketball team absolutely breezed in a game that saw the opponent barely get out of the starting gate. It's almost sad and not very entertaining, really, to see a game like this. but a win got added to the M-CA total and in the long run that's gratifying for the orange and black faithful.
Coach Mark Torgerson's boys defeated Paynesville 82-33 at home.
You might remember that last fall, at Big Cat Stadium, the MAHS football Tigers scored 70-plus points in beating Paynesville. (In football we're still "Morris Area" but next fall we could get Chokio and Alberta tacked on.)
Paynesville Bulldog athletics are paying some dues this year.
While the Tigers had their most "up" night Tuesday, it ended up being a rather devastating day for the MBA Storm girls. The MBA girls took to the ice for the start of playoffs. It's not double-elimination. Therefore a loss spells a quick end.
Yours truly has been writing about some pretty dominating wins by the Storm girls this season. Coming down the home stretch, they had wins by scores of 10-0 and 14-0. The 14-0 win was against Windom in a game that couldn't have been very fun to watch. The Storm should have saved some of those goals for the playoffs.
Coach Jeff Mahoney's usually smooth-skating squad was stunned by Alexandria. The Cardinals downed the Storm 8-3 on the Benson (home) ice.
Early-on there were hopeful signs for the Storm in this Section 6A semifinal game. The Storm skated smoothly in taking a 2-0 lead. Two of the Storm scoring stalwarts, Dani Schultz and Sara Rajewsky, showed their well-known scoring prowess in giving their team that lead. Sam Falk had an assist on the second goal.
Just two minutes had elapsed, not enough time for the Storm's depth and stamina to be tested.
Alexandria is of course a large school and it's in the ranks of the Central Lakes Conference, where team depth is a common attribute. That depth was going to emerge as a factor as the Tuesday game progressed. The Storm's brilliant first line wasn't going to be enough to overcome the Cardinals.
Alex got the score tied but the Storm's Sara Rajewsky struck again, putting the blue and black squad up 3-2 with what the Willmar newspaper described as an "end to end rush." This Rajewsky goal came shorthanded at 12:58 of the opening period.
Alex drew up even again with a Becca Illies goal that came on a power play. Becca is Alex's top scoring threat.
MBA wasn't able to right its ship again. Alexandria began flexing its muscles with that Central Lakes depth. Kalley Kragenbring of the Cardinals, who has strong family ties to Morris, put her squad up 4-3 during the second period. (Her grandmother Bev and I once traveled far and wide following the Tigers!)
Kalley and her mates went on to own the third period, scoring the final four goals while turning the Storm away.
It was truly a bittersweet night for the Storm as they could reflect on a 21-4 season full of exciting memories. But alas, the game at the end put a bit of a damper on that.
One-and-out in the playoffs is hard to spin in a positive way.
The six Morris Benson seniors have now closed out their prep skating careers. There is a question mark hovering over the program as there are zero juniors or sophomores.
Might there be some juniors or sophomores who have been holding back until they can get more playing time? Who knows? But prep sports is by nature unpredictable.
Schultz recorded over 400 points in her stellar career. She led the state with 74 goals this past season.
Sara Rajewsky put the puck in the net 46 times and recorded 48 assists in her outstanding senior season. Sara is the granddaughter of Dave and Yvonne Evenson of the Morris area.
Morris Benson hockey is doing great helping this arduous winter seem shorter than it is! Is it global climate change? (We'd better not get political.)
Boys basketball: Tigers 82, Paynesville 33
The game was a yawner in terms of competitiveness but it was still a showcase for M-CA boys hoops talent. The Tigers downed the green-clad Bulldogs of Paynesville 82-33 to up their season record to 14-6. In conference: 9-4.
The Bulldogs have yet to win a game.
Coach Torgerson had to smile about his team's long-range shooting. The Tigers connected on six of 13 shots from beyond the three-point stripe.
Sebastian Sprouse led that barrage with three successes. This Tiger rarely gets his name into game summaries but he sure had impact Tuesday. Forrest Thielke, another Tiger who is generally low-profile, made two three-pointers, and Alex Erickson made one.
Sam Mattson and Mac Kampmeier each snared five rebounds to lead in that category. Eric Riley was the top assist producer with eight, followed by Cody Cannon with seven. Eric Riley topped the steals list with five followed by Cannon with three.
The Tigers made 36 of 55 total field goal attempts. Lots of individuals got into the act with scoring. Cole Riley led the charge with 17 points and he was joined by two other mates in double figures: Riley Arndt and Cody Cannon each with ten.
Kudos to the Willmar paper every time it has "Arndt" instead of "Ahrndt." We realize it's difficult for them.
Sprouse's three-pointers lifted his total to nine. Continuing with the scoring list we have: Kampmeier (7), Thielke (8), Eric Riley (6), Mattson (2), Dan Tiernan (4), Tyler Roske (4), Erickson (3) and Brody Bahr (2).
Paynesville actually had the game-high scorer: Josh Bungum with his 20 points. He needs a little more help.
Morris Area Chokio Alberta basketball is striving to sharpen for the post-season chapter.
Girls basketball: NL-Spicer 65, Tigers 41
The Morris Chokio Alberta girls became the latest team to succumb to a habitually winning New London-Spicer team Thursday night. The NL-Spicer Wildcats extended their winning streak to eleven at the expense of the Tigers. The score was 65-41 at the Tigers' gym.
The Wildcats' success was in spite of some struggling in three-point shooting in the face of the 3-2 defense that coach Dale Henrich had his team apply. The Wildcats shot often from beyond the three-point line but had only five successes. Fortunately for them, the Tigers were limited to 15 field goals.
The Tigers saw their season record drop to 7-13. The Wildcats, a traditionally very strong program, roll forward at 22-2.
The Wildcats led 39-18 at halftime Thursday.
Morris Chokio Alberta had one double figures scorer: Erica Domnick with eleven points, plus she snared 12 rebounds. Sarah Kuhn scored eight points and complemented that stat with seven rebounds. Beth Holland and Erin Schieler each put in seven points.
The scoring list also included Holly Amundson (3), Kelsey Loew (2), Hannah Sayles (2) and Elizabeth Helberg (1).
The Tigers came up empty on their six three-point shot attempts. In total field goals they made 15 of 50 shots. The freethrow numbers: 11-for-17.
Taylor Thunstedt scored 24 points to lead the Wildcats.
Boys hockey: a win and two setbacks
The MBA Storm boys hockey team defeated Wadena-Deer Creek in an 8-5 final on Tuesday, Feb. 15. Click on the link below to read Gary Hansen's game summary from the MBA Storm website:
The MBA boys were edged by the Marshall Tigers 4-3 in Thursday puck action. Click on the link below to read Gary's game wrap-up:
The Storm boys were defeated 7-2 by Detroit Lakes on Saturday, Feb. 12. Click on the link below to read Gary's summary from the Storm site:
Wrestling: Tigers fourth among nine
Morris Area was "wrestling central" on Saturday, Feb. 12, as nine teams were in action for an invitational here. This much wrestling action always creates an atmosphere of excitement.
The MACAHA student athletes did fine with a fourth place showing. KMS was the champion team. This has been a banner winter for the KMS wrestling athletes, as they have now chalked up five titles in seven tournaments.
Joel Harrison at 215 pounds highlighted the day for MAHACA as he went 2-0 with a fall to garner No. 1.
The upper weights in general had the Tigers doing quite well. At the heaviest weight, 285, Tyler Moser had a fall win en route to placing fourth. Ryan Beyer at 189 won two bouts and lost one to finish third. Connor Metzger at 171 pounds had a 2-1 showing with a fall to place second.
Tim Ostby was the runner-up at his weight of 152, going 2-1 with a fall. Jordan Thooft had a pin en route to placing fourth at 145. Tony Domnick at 135 went 1-2 with a fall to place fourth. Seth Nelson had a 1-1 day with a fall and parlayed that into third place at 130.
Dillan Johnson at 119 went 1-2 to place fourth. Evan Nelson had a 2-1 showing with a fall to finish in third at 112.
These Tigers also wrestled but came up short of wins: Trent Ostby, Aaron Wehking and Jerid Berning.
Viva Morris Area Hancock Chokio Alberta wrestling for 2011!
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - firstname.lastname@example.org