"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)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Seniors Ostby and Gibson impress in state

Tim Ostby and Zach Gibson soared in the closing stages of the wrestling season. It all reaches a big climax at the Xcel Center in St. Paul. (In my younger days I toted my camera to the St. Paul Civic Center.)
The Tiger duo excelled at the Xcel. Tim Ostby captured runner-up honors at 145 pounds. Big Zach Gibson garnered No. 4 at 285. Both were in state last year but came up shy of placing then.
They weren't to be denied in 2012 with an additional year of seasoning under their belts. They applied that savvy and experience to turn back foes, most of them anyway. It's easy at state to run into a "buzz saw" at some point. There are some seemingly superhuman competitors.
Let's begin our review with Mr. Ostby, who began with a 13-3 major decision over Zach Jaeger of Stewartville. Tim took charge with four takedowns during this bout.
Next for Tim was the quarter-finals where he took on Colton Vekved of Becker. Tim took care of business again, prevailing with a 5-2 decision.
Now we're in the semis, and here the opponent for Ostby was Dustin Ellsworth of St. Paul Harding. Tim showed come-from-behind resilience. He and Ellsworth fought into overtime. Suspense was high. Whose arm got raised at the end? It was Tim's!
Tim won by fall, so now he could contemplate moving forward into the finals. It's a very prestigious circle: the state finals.
Tim was assured great satisfaction no matter how it turned out, but he had to square off vs. one of those truly premier foes. It was Jake Short of Simley. Short owned a 40-1 record entering state. He was ranked No. 1 in state and No. 4 in the nation.
Ostby lost by fall in the second period. He stood on the awards stand at No. 2. He projected the orange and black proudly to be sure. As a Tiger senior he went 36-4.
The Zach Gibson story in state began with a win by fall in 5:24 over Preston Woods of South St. Paul.
Gibson was then dealt a setback. He fell by a 16-0 score to Austin Goergen of Caledonia, from a part of the state associated with Spencer Yohe, the iconic former wrestling coach here who was associated with several institutions (including UMM where he was a right hand man to Steve Carr).
Goergen brought a 33-1 record to state. He was the two-time defending state champion. Zach couldn't overcome him. But more mat exploits awaited Zach.
He bounced back with a pin in 1:38 over David DeYoung of Staples-Motley. Then he took care of business vs. Mike Dyer of Richfield, winning 5-1.
Now the consolation semis awaited. Here he faced off vs. Matt Kadrlik of Simley. Gibson won with a flourish, posting a fall in 3:36, thus making his way into the third place match at 285 pounds.
Gibson gamely took the mat to face Sam Stoll of Kasson-Mantorville, the second-ranked heavyweight in Minnesota. A hard-fought bout developed which ended with Gibson on the short end 1-0.
Gibson had a stellar 37-5 senior season.
Congratulations to all the Tiger matmen of Morris Area Hancock Chokio Alberta (MAHACA). But I still wish we would just be called "Morris Area."

Girls basketball: New London-Spicer 49, Tigers 28
MACA fans couldn't help feeling their team was the underdog Saturday (3/3) at St. John's University, Collegeville.
Granted, the MACA girls had beaten Paynesville two days earlier in the sub-section tournament.
The Tigers may have felt buoyed by that success but a substantial hurdle presented itself Saturday.
The Tigers were now up against New London-Spicer, a program accustomed to reaching great heights. Lest there be any doubt, the won-lost numbers told a story. The Wildcats of New London-Spicer stood 18-8 while MACA was trying to shake off a losing tendency, with a 9-16 mark coming in.
Yes, the Tigers did upset the Paynesville Bulldogs on the road. It was an on-paper upset but not a huge one.
The Tigers and their coach Dale Henrich were looking for something huge Saturday.
For half of this game, it seemed to be within reach. The Tigers led for some of the first half and found themselves down by just one at halftime, 17-16. But whatever things the Tigers were doing right, they just weren't able to continue.
The Wildcats found some of the attributes that made them the No. 1 seed in Section 6AA-South. They lived up to that favored status, outscoring the Tigers 32-12 in the second half and winning 49-28.
So the books are closed on the Tigers' 2011-12 season.
They faded in three-point shooting Saturday. This is the kind of weapon that can help an underdog. But there was no special magic blessing the Tigers Saturday.
Katie Holzheimer made two 3-pointers but these were the only such successes for MACA. The team was two of 15.
In total field goals the team numbers were eleven of 58. The scant freethrow numbers were four of eight.
Holzheimer may have made a pair of 3's but she was held to eight points by a tight NL-S defense. It was MaKenzie Smith (employing her cross country stamina?) leading the squad with 15 points.
Nicole Strobel scored four points and Tracey Meichsner one.
The 28 team points were a disappointing total.
Smith led the team in rebounds with ten followed by Beth Holland with eight and Strobel with seven. Meichsner dished out five assists.
Taylor Thunstedt was a prime NL-Spicer contributor with 28 points, plus she snared six rebounds. She made three 3-pointers.
Wildcats Amanda Radel and Olivia Setterberg each scored eight points. Radel sank two 3-pointers.
The season ends for MACA with a won-lost mark of 9-17. New London-Spicer climbed to the next rung with a 19-8 mark.

Boys basketball: Melrose 73, Tigers 63
The home of the Dutchmen, Melrose, wasn't a pleasant place for the MACA boys to visit on Friday, 3/2.
The Tigers got on the Interstate to close out the regular season. They were humbled in the first half, badly enough that even some second half surging seemed futile. The Tigers did in fact surge some in the second half.
But they couldn't shake the handicap of having been down 49-25 at halftime.
The Tigers and Dutchmen have similar won-lost records. Maybe it was the home court that made the difference for Melrose. Whatever, the Tigers ended up going down to defeat in the 73-63 final.
The Tigers outscored the Dutchmen 38-24 in the second half. Coach Mark Torgerson's crew certainly hopes to pick up from there when action resumes. The resumption will be for the post-season.
I'm posting this late-afternoon Thursday, 3/8, and tonight is when the handkerchief drops for the start of post-season. Tonight's foe is Eden Valley-Watkins. We're in Section 6 of AA. Our Tigers own a 15-10 season record going in.
Melrose owned a 19-8 record coming out of Friday. Scottie Stone was a big force for Melrose in overpowering Morris Area Chokio Alberta. Scottie poured in 26 points including one 3-pointer.
Other Dutchmen making 3's were Seth Noll and Ryan Ellering.
Melrose made four 3's on the night but were outdone by the Tigers who made five. Jacob Torgerson showed a hot hand making four of these. Logan Manska had the other.
As a team the Tigers were five of 19 in 3's and 26 of 63 in total field goals. In freethrows the numbers were six of 15.
Jacob's hot hand still left him one point shy of teammate Austin Dierks in the scoring column. Dierks and Torgerson led the Tigers in scoring with 18 and 17 points respectively. Chandler Erickson reached double figures too with ten points.
Manska put in six points followed by Riley Arndt and Lincoln Berget each with five. Brody Bahr added two points to the mix.
We'd like to see Jacob and perhaps others get hot from beyond the three-point stripe starting tonight!
Berget collected a team-high seven rebounds. He and Erickson led in assists, each with three.
The Tigers had their high points on the night, and even shaved their deficit to single digits in the second half, but it was a night for Scottie Stone and his Dutchmen to rule.
Now it's time to savor the post-season!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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