Seniors dominate Tiger basketball
Twelve seniors led the Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta boys’ basketball program this past season.
“That’s the most I’ve ever had in the 26 years I’ve coached,” said coach Mark Torgerson. “The chemistry was pretty good. These guys all got along.”
Torgerson remembers that there were 18 kids from this class on the fourth-grade team.
“To have that many players hang in there was special,” he added. “Plus, all 12 are basically three-sport athletes.”
The seniors on the 2012-2013 roster include Lincoln Berget, Marcus Cannon, Austin Dierks, Chandler Erickson, Tyler Henrichs, Tom Holland, Beau Keimig, Logan Manska, Dillon McNally, John Tiernan, Jacob Torgerson, and Nic Vipond.
These seniors are not only athletic, but also academic. Evidence of this is the Section 6AA Academic Championship Award which the team earned with a 3.66 GPA. The grade point percentage of the entire team is used to determine the winner.
“The team is well rounded, academically and athletically,” added Torgerson.
Over two seasons, this year’s seniors accumulated 35 varsity wins. That experience provided the Tigers with a lot of depth.
The Tigers started the season 15-3, including a huge victory over top ranked Litchfield 46-42. The three losses came against 2012 Class A state champions Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Rockford, and Sauk Centre. Later in the season, the Tigers also fell to Class 3A opponent Alexandria, twice to West Central Conference leader Melrose, and twice to New London-Spicer.
Sauk Centre and Melrose joined the conference this season, giving the Tigers their three losses in league play. The Tigers finished the season with a 19-8 varsity record.
Torgerson credits the Tigers’ defense for many of the wins this season. Statistically, the Tigers only allowed their opponents 50 points per game. Also, the Tigers only gave up 269 turnovers, compared to 316 for the other teams.
“Our assist-to-turnover ratio was really good,” said Torgerson.
Chandler Erickson led the team in assists with 118, while Jacob Torgerson dished out 87. The two gave up a combined 85 turnovers.
“The guys played well together and showed unselfishness,” said Torgerson.
Because of that, there was balanced scoring throughout the season.
At the end of the year, Austin Dierks was the leading scorer for the second straight season. He finished the season with 412 points, averaging 15.3 points per game. Logan Manska had 260 points this season, almost recording a 10-point average. Nic Vipond finished with 170 points and earned a starting position a third of the way into the season. Jacob Torgerson had 161 points, Chandler Erickson finished with 149 points, Lincoln Berget chipped in 132 points, and John Tiernan scored 120.
Four Tigers were recognized by the West Central Conference. Lincoln Berget (from left) received an Honorable Mention, while Logan Manska, Chandler Erickson, and Austin Dierks were named to the All-Conference team.
With only two juniors, Bryce Jergenson and Aaron Goulet, on the roster, the varsity will tap into the experience of this season’s B- and C-squads. Joey Fragodt coached the B-squad and Noah Hamer headed up the C-squad.
“They did a really nice job and those teams had a nice season,” commented Torgerson. “All of our teams had a good year of developing.
“We will have a lot of people to replace,” explained Torgerson. “But, we have a lot of players that are ready to step up the challenge of varsity because of their success this season.”