Boys basketball: Tigers 67, Benson 64
The M-CA boys hung on for dear life in the second half of Friday's game at Benson, hoping their halftime advantage would be sufficient to make this a successful night. Indeed, the Tigers lost steam in the second half of this WCC-South game at Benson.
Whether it was a loss of focus or Benson's adjustments - who knows? - the Tigers saw their fortunes fade to where the host Braves actually took the lead at 61-60. The Tigers led at halftime 41-26. Brave Sam Peterson made the basket that put the Braves up by one and brought an eruption of cheers from his home crowd.
Those cheers resonated but they didn't faze Tiger Riley Arndt who put up key freethrows at the end. The poised Arndt made three of four of these within the last minute. These were like a dagger to Benson's come-from-behind victory hopes.
The Braves had to retire to their locker room wishing they'd done a little better in the first half.
Coach Mark Torgerson's Tigers could celebrate a 67-64 victory. They closed out the regular season with glittering 17-7 overall won-lost numbers. In league the books are closed with the numbers at 12-4.
Those numbers spell optimism with the tournament now at the forefront of everyone's thoughts. Yes, that time of year is finally here, helping us cope with, or perhaps forget, this seemingly endless winter.
Here's a refresher: the Tigers are in Section 6AA-West. Game #1 will be in the quarter-finals of the West sub-section. The Tigers are seeded third. Minnewaska Area owns the No. 1 seed.
The Tigers' initial assignment in the post-season will be to host West Central Area, the sixth seed, at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 10.
Against Benson yesterday (Friday) the Tigers made 24 of 44 field goal attempts but were lukewarm in threes, where the stats were three of 12. Tyler Roske had two of the three-point successes and Alex Erickson had the other.
Cole Riley was the top rebounder with seven. Alex Erickson was tops in assists with six. Eric Riley had four steals to set the pace.
"Balance" tells the story of the Tigers' scoring. Would you believe Alex Erickson with his modest total of ten points was team-high? There were many chefs for this broth. Here's the complete list: Cole Riley (8), Mac Kampmeier (8), Riley Arndt (7), Eric Riley (8), Dan Tiernan (8), Tyler Roske (8), Alex Erickson (10), Cody Cannon (9) and Brody Bahr (1).
Arndt's clutch freethrows were part of 16 of 23 team numbers on the night.
The Braves' charge was led by Peterson and Logan Connelly each with 18 points. The Braves ended the week with a 13-12 overall season record, 10-6 in league.
Girls basketball: Osakis 50, Tigers 49
The girls hoops post-season always begins before the boys. The Morris Chokio Alberta girls were hoping for a longer post-season life but it wasn't to be. Debuting Thursday as the No. 5 seed in 6AA-West, coach Dale Henrich's Tigers were edged by one point. This heartbreaker had Osakis as the opposing team.
When the No. 4 seed faces No. 5, there's really no favorite. So the close final score shouldn't have surprised anyone.
The score was tied 49-all when the pivotal moments unfolded. Key in those final moments was when the Silver Streaks - love that name - put up freethrows. Alas, they made one of two attempts with just over six seconds remaining. This gave them that lead of one point which they were able to preserve then they intercepted an M-CA pass. The final score: 50-49.
Looking at the stats, you might think the Tigers' six successful three-pointers would be part of a winning recipe. Not quite. But those long-rangers certainly reflected a sharp shooting eye, and there were two Tigers making two each: Hannah Sayles and Katie Holzheimer. Natalie Johnston and Shadow Olson each made one long-ranger. The successes came in 17 attempts, and in total field goals the squad was 17 of 42. In freethrows: nine of 15.
Erica Domnick scored a team-best 12 points and Sayles came through with ten. Continuing with the list we have Erin Schieler (8), Holzheimer (6), Olson (5), Beth Holland (3), Johnston (3) and Holly Amundson (2).
Schieler and Domnick each collected six rebounds. Sarah Kuhn was the top assist producer with four and she was followed by three teammates each with three: Schieler, Kelsey Loew and Holland.
Morris Area Chokio Alberta closes out the season with an 8-16 overall mark. It was Henrich's maiden voyage at the head coaching spot.
Wrestling: two Tigers in state
Two Tigers carried the MAHACA banner in state wrestling Friday in St. Paul.
Zach Gibson, vying at 285 pounds (Class AA), won a 1-0 decision over Dylan Hoyt of Chisago Lakes/Goodridge. He resumes action today (Saturday).
Tim Ostby, vying at 152 pounds, dropped a 12-7 decision to Jesse Munos of South St. Paul.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - firstname.lastname@example.org