Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta had a halftime lead, but Sauk Centre fought back in second half to hand the Tigers their third loss of the season — first in West Central North Conference boys’ basketball — 60-52 Friday.
The loss snapped the Tigers’ seven-game winning streak. With the loss the Tigers stand at 12-3 overall and 8-1 in the conference.
“It was a tale of two halves this past Friday night in Sauk Centre and in the end the Mainstreeters got the best of the Tigers in the half that counted the most,” explained coach Mark Torgerson. “The Tigers played a solid first half and led 33-23 going into the locker room. But, in the second half cold shooting by the Tigers and a sudden streak of three pointers by Sauk Centre led to the big comeback win for the Streeters.
“In the Tigers previous two outings, wins over Ortonville and Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, their shooting percentage was in the 30s, but the Tigers’ defense was good enough to earn them wins,” added Torgerson. “In this game, however, 36 percent shooting would not be enough as the Tigers managed just 19 second-half points.
“Sauk Centre shot poorly in the first half, scoring only 23 points and connecting on just one three-point basket,” continued Torgerson. “Things changed early in the second half with the aide of four more three-point baskets, including three in a two-minute span early in the half that pulled Sauk back into the game. From there, the Streeters and Tigers fought hard, but Streeter center Nick Adams proved to be too much for the Tigers to overcome.
“The Tigers did get three players in double figures for the game, but the cold shooting haunted them in the end,” said Torgerson. “Austin Dierks, who sat much of the first half in foul trouble finished with 12 points. Guard Chandler Erickson also connected for 12 points, all of them coming in the first half. Tiger forward Nic Vipond continued his fine play with 10 points off the bench. Erickson's spark in the first half included a pair of three pointers. The Tigers finished the night, however, hitting only three of their 15 three-point attempts.
“Another stat that went against the Tigers was on the boards as Sauk outrebounded the Tigers by a 30-20 margin. The rebounding edge has been a stat the Tigers have enjoyed almost in every game.”
Lincoln Berget led the Tigers in rebounding with six, while Vipond added four boards.
The Tigers were 18 for 50 from the field while Sauk was 23 for 51. The Tigers actually made more free throws (13-9) than Sauk, but Sauk had the 5-3 edge in three pointers.
The Mainstreeters were led by Nick Adams with 20 points and 13 rebounds and Patrick Knoblauch scoring 13 points and dishing out eight assists.
Sauk Centre 60 Morris/C-A 52
Morris/C-A 33 19 — 52
Sauk Centre 23 37 — 60
MORRIS/CHOKIO-ALBERTA – 18-50 FG (3-15 3-pt); 13-19 FT; 20 rebounds; 14 fouls; Scoring: Nic Vipond 10, Lincoln Berget 8, Logan Manska 5, Jacob Torgerson 3, Austin Dierks 12, Chandler Erickson 12, John Tiernan 2; 3-point shots: Erickson 2, Torgerson 1; Rebounds: Berget 6, Vipond 4, Dierks 3, Erickson 3, Torgerson 2, Manska 2; Assists: Torgerson 2, Erickson 1, Vipond 2, Manska 3; Steals: Erickson 3, Dierks 2, Manska 2
SAUK CENTRE – 28-67 FG (5-16 3-pt); 9-10 FT; 30 rebounds; 18 fouls; Scoring: Nick Adams 20, Patrick Knoblauch 13, Josh Buschette 8, Austin Landkammer 6, Matthew Moritz 5, Adam Jensen 4, Casey Weber 2, Seth Otte 2; 3-point shots: Landkammer 2, Knoblauch 1, Buschette 1, Moritz 1; Rebound leaders: Adams 13; Assist leaders: Knoblauch 8; Steal leaders: Buschette 5