Tiger basketball went 1-1 on a TGIF night of action - Friday (1/20). The boys won and the girls came out on the short end.
The boys' foe was Benson and the outcome was a 54-52 win in a nail-biter at home.
The Tigers had to overcome 26 points by the Braves' Sam Peterson. Austin Dierks of the Tigers helped neutralize that. The rangy Dierks put in 17 points and swatted aside six shots.
By surviving the renewal of this WCC-South rivalry, the Tigers preserved their unbeaten conference record. They owned 5-0 conference numbers coming out of this night. They eked ahead of Montevideo in the race. The Tigers sit at the ten-win plateau in overall (at 10-3).
Nail-biting time set in when the Braves got the score tied 52-all in the closing stages. The winning margin for MACA finally came when a calm Dierks sank two freethrows. The clock showed 30 seconds remaining.
A subsequent missed freethrow gave Benson the opportunity to try to win if they could just make a three-pointer. Their last-gasp shot didn't cause any holding of breath because it was clearly off the mark. The orange and black throngs could depart from the venue quite pleased. "TGIF" had a happy ring.
The halftime situation was a two-point Benson lead, 32-30. Coach Mark Torgerson's Tigers outscored the Braves 24-20 in the second half.
Benson came out of the game with an 8-4 overall record, 2-2 in conference.
The Tigers made 23 of 57 field goal tries and were cold from long-range where their numbers were three of 14 in 3's. Those three makes ended up precious of course and they were put in by Chandler Erickson (2) and Jacob Torgerson (1).
Dierks had seven rebounds followed by three of his mates each with five: Lincoln Berget, Logan Manska and Jake Torgerson.
Erickson led in assists with five followed by Torgerson and Brody Bahr each with three. Dierks led in steals with three and in shot blocks with six.
The Tigers were five of 13 in freethrows.
Let's roll up our sleeves for the scoring list: Dierks 17, Erickson 8, Riley Arndt 8, Manska 6, Jon Tiernan 4, Torgerson 3, Tom Holland 2, Tyler Henrichs 2, Berget 2 and Bahr 1.
Here's how coach Torgerson summarized the exciting closing stages of the game in his Maxpreps report: "John Tiernan came off the bench to score two late field goals to put the Tigers ahead. The Tigers had a 52-48 lead with two minutes to go, but it wasn't over yet. Benson got baskets from Carl Hoffman and Colin Ose to tie the game at 52-all.
"Riley Arndt got a key offensive rebound off a missed Tiger shot with just over 30 seconds to play and went to the line. Arndt missed the one-and-one attempt, but Dierks snared the rebound away and was fouled on the putback attempt. He nailed both freethrows to give the Tigers the lead.
"Benson went down and missed on their next possession and were forced to foul Dierks with eight seconds to play. He missed the one-and-one and the Braves called a timeout with three seconds left. A last-second three by Matt Arndt was off and the Tigers had the win."
Girls basketball: YME 46, Tigers 41
The Tigers went cold in three-point shooting in the Friday night game against Yellow Medicine East.
Three-point shooting can be a sink or swim proposition. On Friday (1/20) this department did not smile on coach Dale Henrich's Tigers as they went down to defeat against the Sting in Sting country. The final score was 46-41.
The Sting's Courtney Hinz was a big reason why this was no happy TGIF occasion for Morris Area Chokio Alberta. Hinz was all over the court keeping the Tigers in check, stealing the ball five times while scoring 19 points and grabbing seven rebounds. She hit two 3-pointers.
The Tigers made just one three-pointer in 14 attempts. Katie Holzheimer had that lone success. She scored nine points to tie for team-best in scoring.
Tracy Meischner scored nine, and MaKenzie Smith and Beth Holland each scored eight. Nicole Strobel put in three points and MacKenzie Van Batavia and Holly Amundson two each.
YME led by three at halftime, 19-16.
The Tigers' lackluster three-point shooting numbers dragged down their overall field goal stats to 16 of 47. In freethrows they shot eight of 13.
Meischner grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Holland led in assists with three.
Smith and Holzheimer each picked up three steals.
The MACA girls came out of Friday with a 5-9 overall record, 3-5 in conference.
- Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - firstname.lastname@example.org