"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

MACA hoops ushers in March with victories

Boys hoops: Tigers 54, BOLD 47
We're into the month of March which is the prime time for prep sports excitement. The MACA boys ushered in the month with an impressive road win in a conference game.
The site was Bird Island. The opponent was BOLD (the Warriors). The outcome: a 54-47 win for the orange and black crew.
The Tigers broke loose after a deadlocked situation at halftime (a 23-all tied score). Coach Mark Torgerson coaxed his student athletes to a 31-24 scoring advantage in the second half.
The success put a slight damper on a significant BOLD statistical accomplishment. MACA fans are well familiar with the talents of Kyle Athmann. Athmann climbed past 1000 career points in the Thursday, March 1, game. He was "in the groove" offensively with 25 points - the only Warrior in double figures.
He made four shots from three-point range.
Impressive as this exhibition was, it wasn't enough to vault the Warriors past the Tigers.
The Tigers wrapped up their WCC-South schedule 9-3. Those numbers spell second place behind clear kingpin Montevideo. Monte humbled the Tigers in a recent game.
Going into Thursday, it wasn't certain that Athmann was going to surpass the magical milestone. There wasn't clear cause to dispatch the TV crews etc. Athmann needed 24 points. Talented as he is, there was no certainty he could post such a total.
But he did, clearing the milestone by that precious one point. His Warriors closed out the conference at 6-6. In overall they've done a bit better, with 13-10 W/L numbers coming out of Thursday.
The Tigers' win was their 15th overall against nine losses. How far can they climb in the post-season? This is the month to find out.
Logan Manska made the only "3" for MACA Thursday. He'd finish the night with a team-best 21 points. Austin Dierks put in 14 points and matched that total in rebounds.
Continuing with scoring we have Riley Arndt (5), Jake Torgerson (4), Brody Bahr (4), Lincoln Berget (4) and Chandler Erickson (2).
Erickson and Bahr each had four assists, and Erickson stole the ball four times.
From the freethrow line the Tigers made 11 of 17 shots.

Girls basketball: Tigers 57, Paynesville 50
March began on a most upbeat note for the Morris Area Chokio Alberta girls. Tournament-time was already here. The Tigers were seeded fifth and were going to have to strive for upset form vs. the No. 4 seed.
The opponent: Paynesville (the Bulldogs). As the lower seed the Tigers accepted the road assignment. They succeeded as the road team and as the underdog.
Coach Dale Henrich coaxed his student athletes to a 57-50 triumph in this Section 6AA South affair.
The Tigers might find the going tougher today (Saturday, 3/3). Now they face the No. 1 seed, New London-Spicer, who cruised through the opening round with a 71-45 win over St. John's Prep.
Today's venue is St. John's University in Collegeville. It's semis day.
Coach Henrich liked the fast start his team performed against Paynesville. It's always good to quiet the (opposition) home crowd.
Henrich liked the crisp passing by his team. The reward was high-percentage shots much of the time.
Foul trouble began looming. Paynesville took advantage to claw back and get the score tied. They used steals and layups and began looking like the higher-seeded team. The scoreboard revealed the tie score for halftime: 23-all.
The Tigers prevailed partly because of defense and rebounding which won good grades throughout the game. Henrich commented to the media that "we really hustled after the ball."
Different players stood out at key, pivotal times. "Put-backs" fueled the winning surge.
Katie Holzheimer was at the fore with a statistical double-double. She led the squad in scoring with 22 points. She snared ten rebounds. MaKenzie Smith put in 14 points and collected seven rebounds. Tracy Meichsner contributed eight points and ten rebounds.
Three-point shots had their role in the win. Here the team numbers were the quite acceptable four of ten. Holzheimer was dead-on in shooting and made all four.
Nicole Strobel scored seven points, Beth Holland five and Holly Amundson one.
Meichsner matched Holzheimer's rebound total of ten, and Strobel had nine. Holland led in assists with four. Meichsner with her four steals led there.

Wrestling: media observations
The main "wrestling crowd" is in St. Paul this weekend for the state tournament so they aren't around to observe the weekly Morris newspaper, which comes out on Saturday. I assume today's paper includes coverage of the section meet which is a really big deal in wrestling.
By the time the weekend wrestling travelers get home, the section meet coverage might seem as old as the day it was born. But there was a way to appreciate print media coverage of the section meet last week. All you had to do was acquire the Chokio or Hancock newspapers, newspapers that serve Mayberry-like communities. That's a compliment.
The "big town" paper (Mount Pilot?) wasn't published all week. But you could read about the Tigers in the section meet by getting a small-town paper. I checked these out at our Morris Public Library. Both seemed to have a quite thorough summary.
But I noticed something odd. The article in the Chokio paper was written by Blaine Hill, coaching staff member. The article in the Hancock paper was written by a Morris newspaper staff member. (The Morris and Hancock papers are owned by the same Fargo-based company.)
The duplication of effort struck me as odd. I have no idea what the story is behind this. There are lots of little stores behind area high school athletics. Most of the people buzzing about these have little idea that the "outside world" doesn't give a hoot (apologies to the Hancock Owls).
The outside world follows normal life from day to day. We wouldn't dream of getting our blood pressure up over the kind of issues that can consume the high school sports folks.
If Blaine Hill (also Morris city manager) likes to write and wants to provide a public relations outlet, why can't his services suffice for any and all media? I'm just asking.
The article in the Hancock paper required time and coordination between the writer and the coaching staff I'm sure. Section wrestling results are extensive and complicated, with 14 weight classes, data on decisions, major decisions, falls etc.
It seems to me if Blaine is willing to compile all this, let's all just go with it and skip the duplicative process. I'm just wondering.
Beyond that I have another suggestion which should be as clear as the nose on your face. If Blaine likes to write and if Chuck Nelson likes to take pictures - I'm told Chuck compiles a souvenir DVD for fans - why don't they establish an information bureau online - a "Morris Area Hancock Chokio Alberta" website that would be the last word on Tiger wrestling, and a PR outlet?
All they need do is implement a free blogging platform like what you're looking at right now. How about it, guys?
You could then tell any and all area newspapers that they are welcome to come and get anything they want on the site.
Convenient, yes. But the newspapers wouldn't like this because of the realization that fans would simply start using the website. Who needs the newspapers?
The website is free and there are no limitations - no need to "squeeze in" the material as so often happens with newspapers, which try to be all things to all people.
Hey, wrestling people, take care of your own needs online. UMM's winter sports already does. Step into the future and realize (and seize) the new media realities.
Here's a dirty little secret: it's fun.
Blaine is going to have his hands full in the next few months as the City of Morris grapples with the need to tear down the old school. What a mess. If it was going to be torn down, it should have been done sooner rather than later.
I wouldn't want to own property downwind during the demolition. Imagine the gawkers who will turn out.
Congrats to state wrestling achievers Tim Ostby and Zach Gibson and to all the MAHACA Tigers.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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