"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)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

MACA boys seem quite in the groove

The MACA boys have made some strong statements in recent play. Following a 1-1 start, MACA put that one loss (to BBE) behind them decisively, not only winning on back-to-back nights, but downing the No. 1-ranked team in Minnesota. What a way to set a positive tone for the holidays! Ho ho ho.
On Thursday (12/13) the orange and black crew turned back Eden Valley-Watkins, then on Friday, all eyes were on our Morris Area court for the team to take on that top-ranked foe: Litchfield.
The Tigers slayed the Dragons. They took a 3-1 record and tons of optimism into the weekend.
Tigers 49, EV-Watkins 34
The late-week contests were a homestand. Coach Mark Torgerson's Tigers treated the home fans to this win by 15 points in a game with a physical complexion.
Austin Dierks was smooth and effective for the MACA cause. He's emerging as a premier player in the area and on this night, he posted a double-double. He put in 17 points and grabbed ten rebounds.
MACA was in quite good shape halfway through this one, leading 24-12. They outscored EV-W 25-22 in the second half. So the final horn sounded with MACA up 49-34.
The success came despite some sputtering in 3's. The MACA numbers in this department were three of eleven. Jacob Torgerson had two of the makes and Tyler Henrichs the other. In total field goals the Tigers made 22 of 49 tries. The freethrow stats were a chilly two of ten.
Dierks was the only Tiger scoring in double figures. Jacob Torgerson came close with his nine points. Henrichs was third on the list with his seven points. John Tiernan scored six points, Lincoln Berget and Logan Manska four each, and Chandler Erickson two.
Dierks' ten rebounds put him atop that list and he was followed by Berget and Tiernan each with six. Erickson dished out six assists and Torgerson added three.
Bret Mattice connected for two 3's for EV-W, and he led their scoring list with 16 points.
Both teams came out of the night at 2-1.
Tigers 46, Litchfield 42 (overtime)
Austin Dierks was a leader with a heavy dose of poise Friday. Crunch time saw this Tiger in a primary role. Only a tiny shred of time - under a second - was left in regulation when Dierks connected for a field goal from the lane that tied the score. Keep reading because you'll learn the role Lincoln Berget had in this too.
The Tigers were going to have a chance to beat the top-ranked team in Minnesota! Dierks' four-footer knotted the score at 38-all.
The atmosphere was electric at our Morris Area High varsity gym. MACA was seeking to get past a Dragon program that finished runner-up in Minnesota Class AA last season. Those Dragons entered Friday judged to be the best team in AA for 2012-13, at least so far. The Tigers are going to have something to say about that. They won the Friday battle 46-42.
Overtime saw coach Torgerson's crew outscore the Dragons 8-4. Dierks stayed very much in the groove, scoring half of those eight points.
The halftime situation gave little indication of what would unfold. The Tigers actually seemed stymied in the first half. They were held to twelve points! Meanwhile the Dragons owned 21 points.
The Tigers had to be undaunted. No way were they going to be fazed by Litch's lofty reputation. That's only on paper!
The caliber of defense seemed strong from both teams. Also, MACA ball-handling won a fine grade - always a great sign for this early stage of the schedule. The Tigers committed a mere seven turnovers while Litch had nine.
Fans were on edge of seats in the final moments of regulation. Lincoln Berget was handed the ball for two freethrow shots. The situation: MACA down by two.
Shudder, the first one misses! But this just calls for an adjustment of tactics. Now Berget must do what a hoopster normally strives not to do: miss a shot. He executed just as needed, then it was time for Dierks to get aggressive. Dierks snared the loose ball. He proceeded to put up that critical shot from four feet with but a fleeting moment remaining on the clock.
It's good! It's good! It's good!
Now the orange and black crew had to summon some more focus for the OT. The Tigers crept out front by four but Litch was able to whittle that margin back down to one. The time remaining: 12 seconds.
Berget was tested at the line again. He wasn't to be denied and he put the ball through the twine twice. Kudos to Berget who finished the night with six points, seven rebounds and two steals. Kudos of course to Dierks who scored 13 points and snared nine rebounds. The scoring list was led by Jacob Torgerson who scored 14 points, so kudos most heartily to him too. Hey, kudos to the whole Tiger team!
John Tiernan added seven points to the mix. Logan Manska scored four points and Tyler Henrichs two.
Jake Torgerson made three of the team's four successful three-pointers. Manska made the other. The four long-range successes were among twelve attempts.
Total field goals saw the Tigers make 17 of 45 tries. They were eight of 18 in freethrows where of course Berget had quite the memorable night.
Dierks, Berget and Chandler Erickson were top rebounders with nine, seven and six, respectively. Torgerson and Manska each dished out three assists while Erickson had two. Berget and Manska each stole the ball twice.
Two Dragons scored in double figures: Zach Kinny with 14 points and Riley Pater with eleven. Kinny made three 3-pointers. The Dragons were 17 of 36 in total field goals and three of six from the freethrow line.
This was just Litch's third game of the season. It was non-conference.
Word is, this wasn't the most entertaining game to watch, at least until the closing stages. It had a slow complexion because of deliberate tactics. Also, Litch apparently wasn't full-go with its personnel. I write this not to tarnish the Morris win but to suggest we can't take anything for granted down the road.
Viva Morris Area Chokio Alberta boys basketball for 2012-13!
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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