2009-10 season filled with good memories for Tiger basketball
The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta varsity boys' basketball team completed a second consecutive season with no losses on the home court. It was only the second time in the program's history when the Tigers went two years without a home loss.
The Tigers finished 25-3 overall in 2009-2010. That is the third best record posted by a Tiger boys' basketball team. In 1993-1994 the Tigers were 29-1, while the 1997-1998 team finished 25-2.
In the West Central Conference South, the Tigers were undefeated.
Coach Mark Torgerson said all those wins made for a energetic and exciting season, both for the players and the fans.
"These guys made it a fun year," Torgerson said.
The guys include six seniors, Lincoln Arnold, Cory Hennen, Corey Nohl, Jackson Henrich, Mitch Carbert, and Grant Gagner.
Arnold surpassed the 1,000-point mark this season on 68.5 percent shooting. He reached that milestone at Benson, where he scored just what he needed - 22 points. As a Tiger, Arnold has recorded a career field-goal shooting percentage of 64.08, which puts him in 10th place on the state record books.
"His consistent play stands out," said Torgerson.
Arnold led the Tigers with 372 points this season for an average of 13.3 per game.
With 1,154 points, nearly 400 rebounds, over 200 assists, and 176 steals in the course of his career, it's no wonder Arnold has been a three-time all-conference selection.
Henrich is also a three-time all-conference honoree. He finishes his career with 522 rebounds, which puts him in the top five on the Tigers' record book. He ranks No. 2 with 261 blocks and is 15th in career points with 794.
Henrich led the Tigers on the boards this season, grabbing 129 rebounds. He led the team with 68 blocked shots.
Nohl joined Henrich and Arnold as the team's captains for 2009-2010.
"The thing that stands out about Corey was his leadership and the energy he brought to the game," said Torgerson.
Nohl led the team with 68 steals this season.
Hennen finishes his career with 763 points, which puts him in the No. 16 spot in the Tiger career points leaderboard.
"Cory was our best 'going to the basket' type guy," said Torgerson.
Hennen finished his career with 81 three-point field goals.
This season, he scored 358 points, including 35 three-point baskets.
Torgerson said much of the team's success was due to the players who didn't get much time in the game. He gives Carbert and Gagner credit for sticking with the program.
"They made sure we had good practices," Torgerson said.
"Mitch pushed everyone hard," said Torgerson. "His work ethic and great attitude made for a good year of practices.
"If there was ever a question about another team's player, Grant had the answer," Torgerson explained.
The remainder of the team included 10 juniors.
"With a really good core of juniors coming back, we should have a good season next year," Torgerson said.
Many of those juniors got to play quite a few minutes on the varsity team. Meanwhile, the junior varsity team finished the season 9-2.
The juniors include Alex Erickson, Eric Riley, Mac Kampmeier, Cody Cannon, Cole Riley, Daniel Tiernan, Travis Rinkenberger, Tyler Roske, Ethan Bruer, and Corbin Lamb.
Erickson, Kampmeier, and Lamb were new to the Tiger program, joining the team from Chokio-Alberta.
Torgerson said that transition was smooth.
"The kids got along great," he said. "Everybody accepted them."
Erickson led the team in three pointers with 39. He was also the team's assist leader with 88.
Torgerson said the highlight of the season was defeating New London-Spicer at home to win the inter-conference championship. While the Tigers were stopped by Staples-Motley in the sub-section championship, the Wildcats went on to defeat the Cardinals in Section 6AA on their way to winning the state tournament.
"Our section was like a mini state tournament," Torgerson said. "The Tigers proved they could play with anyone in the state."
Combined with the B-squad and C-squad, the four high school teams posted an overall 74-12 record.
"The future of basketball looks good for the Tigers," Torgerson said.