The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta boys' basketball team used a strong inside game to win their fifth straight contest Friday, Dec. 21, defeating Montevideo 58-48.
With the win, the Tigers are 5-1 overall and 3-0 in West Central Conference play.
This week the Tigers travel to St. James for a holiday tournament. Tonight at 6:00 p.m. they will play Belle Plaine in the first game of the tournament, while St. James will play host to Rockford in the night cap of the four-team, two-day tournament. The teams will play a second game on Friday afternoon with a third-place game played first followed by the title game.
Four Tiger post players accounted for 46 of the Tigers' points. Austin Dierks led the way with 22 points, while Lincoln Berget and Nic Vipond added nine points apiece.
"Throw in John Tiernan's six points and the four Tiger post players outscored the entire Monte team by a single basket," explained coach Mark Torgerson. "The Tiger posts shot an amazing 21-for-30 for the game from the field.
"The Thunderhawks gave the Tigers a battle all night, but a strong second half performance by the Tigers proved to be too much for the young Monte team," added Torgerson.
"With the Tiger perimeter players not finding the range early in the game, the Tigers changed up their motion offense to an inside attack that proved to be the difference in the game," Torgerson said. "The Tigers also played unselfish basketball, while taking very good care of the ball. In fact, the Tigers collected 21 assists for the night and turned the ball over only seven times."
Guards Jacob Torgerson and Chandler Erickson tallied seven and six assists, respectively to help the Tiger cause.
"The Tigers had actually built up a 10-point lead late in the half, but Thunderhawk point guard Ryan Maroney cashed in a pair of late threes to close the gap to 25-21 at the half. John Tiernan and Nic Vipond provided a spark off the bench scoring inside to protect the Tigers' lead going into the half.
"The second half saw the Tigers step it up a notch, especially in the fast break category," explained Torgerson. "The Tigers were able to answer any Monte comeback attempt by getting a quick basket in response. Austin Dierks was the main weapon in the transition game as he scored 16 of his game high 22 points in the second half.
"Tom Holland and Logan Manska each connected on a key three-point basket to add to the Tiger lead.
"Defense again was steady throughout the night as the Tigers again held an opponent under 50 points."
The Tigers shot 55 percent from the field compared to Monte's 42 percent. The Thunderhawks did hit six three-point baskets in the game to the Tigers' two, but the Tigers made eight more field goals. A rebounding edge was also in favor of the Tigers, by a margin of 27-20. Dierks and Vipond combined for 20 rebounds.
Monte had 13 turnovers to the Tigers' seven.
Monte was paced by guard Jesse Brace with 18 points, while point guard Ryan Maroney added 15 points.
Montevideo (2-1, 2-2) 21 27 -- 48
Morris/CA (2-0, 5-1) 25 33 -- 58
MORRIS/CHOKIO-ALBERTA - 24-44 FG (2-8 3-pt); 8-16 FT; 27 rebounds; 14 fouls; Scoring: Nic Vipond 9, Tom Holland 3, Lincoln Berget 9, Logan Manska 7, Jake Torgerson 2, Austin Dierks 22, John Tiernen 6; 3-point shots: Holland 1, Manska 1; Rebounds: Vipond 8, Dillon McNally 1, Berget 1, Torgerson 2, Dierks 12, Chandler Erickson 1; Assists: Holland 1, Tyler Henrichs 2, Manska 3, Torgerson 7, Dierks 2, Erickson 6; Steals: Holland 2, Torgerson 1; Blocked shots: Berget 1, Dierks 1
MONTEVIDEO - 16-38 FG (6-17 3-pt); 10-16 FT; 20 rebounds; 16 fouls; Scoring: Ryan Maroney 15, Jesse Brace 18, Austin Hansen 5, Troy Diggins 3, Tanner Rood 4, Ricky Schmitz 1, Spencer Hildahl 2; 3-point shots: Maroney 2, Brace 2, Diggins, Hansen; Rebound leaders: Rood 5, Brace 4; Assist leaders: Maroney 5; Steal leaders: Brace 2