The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta boys’ basketball team bounced back from a three-game losing skid to defeat Breckenridge 55-54 Saturday.
Jacob Torgerson hit a free throw with 3.6 seconds left to seal the win for the Tigers, as the back end of a one-and-one gave them a 55-51 lead. Breckenridge then hit a half-court heave for the final score.
The Tigers’ overall record improved to 16-6 with three regular-season games to play. The Cowboys, who had won three straight, are now 6-13 on the season.
“The Tigers got back on the winning track, but it wasn't easy,” said coach Mark Torgerson. “The Cowboys fought the Tigers right down to the final buzzer, actually hitting a half court shot to make the winning margin just one point for the Tigers.
“The victory could have been a little easier for the Tigers, but they made only 17 of their 36 free throws in the game,” explained Torgerson. “The Cowboys, on the other hand, stayed in the game because they made 18 of their 19 free throws.
“The Tigers and Cowboys played a very physical game from the start as both teams pressured the ball most of the night,” Torgerson said. “The Tigers gained an early edge in the contest, but couldn't shake a young up-and-coming Breck team. The first half saw eight different Tigers get into the scoring column, but the Cowboys’ two inside posts countered to keep the game tight.”
Torgerson, Nic Vipond, and Chandler Erickson each had a team-high five points in the first half, while the pair of Breck posts accounted for 16 of their 25 first-half points. The Tigers made only six of their 12 free-throw attempts in the first half and took a 29-25 lead into the locker room.
“The Tigers would build the lead as large as 10 points in the second half, but they couldn't shake the Cowboys’ comeback efforts,” added Torgerson. “With each passing minute the fouls on both teams mounted up to the point most of the scoring was coming from the free-throw line.
“The Tiger posts had a good second half as the scrappy play of Austin Dierks and Lincoln Berget kept the Tigers in the lead,” said Torgerson. “The Cowboys continued to stay close with Cowboy guard Parker Busse scoring 10 second-half points, including a 6-for-6 effort from the free-throw line.
“Down the stretch the game got even more intense and through it all the Tigers kept their composure. In fact, for the night the Tigers only turned the ball over six times.
“With Breck closing the gap to one point late in the game, Dierks got a pair of big buckets to keep the Tigers in the lead.”
Erickson made five of his six free-throw attempts and Torgerson sealed the deal with a free throw to put the Tigers up four points.
Following their last time out, the Cowboys’ sophomore center Nate Lorenz banked in a half court shot to make the final 55-54. The final shot gave Lorenz a game-high 17 points while fellow post Jordan Christensen finished with 11. Busse also finished in double figures with 14. Dierks led the Tigers with 14 points and nine rebounds.
Chandler Erickson chipped in 10 points, five assists, and two steals for the Tigers. Lincoln Berget added eight points and six rebounds.
The Tigers also saw the return of Tyler Henrichs, who came back from an injury and scored five points off the bench.
Morris/C-A 55, Breckenridge 54
Morris/C-A 29 26 — 55
Breckenridge 25 29 — 54
MORRIS/CHOKIO-ALBERTA – 18-49 FG (2-11 3-pt); 17-36 FT; 26 rebounds; 19 fouls; Scoring: Nic Vipond 7, Tyler Henrichs 5, Lincoln Berget 8, Logan Manska 2, Jacob Torgerson 7, Austin Dierks 14, Chandler Erickson 10, John Tiernan 2; 3-point shots: Torgerson 1, Henrichs 1; Rebounds: Dierks 9, Berget 6, Manska 4, Vipond 2, Henrichs 2, Torgerson 2, Erickson 1; Assists: Erickson 5, Torgerson 3, Manska 2, Tom Holland 1, Dierks 1; Steals: Erickson 2, Vipond 1, Berget 1, Torgerson 1, Dierks 1, Tiernan 1
BRECKENRIDGE – 16-43 FG (4-16 3-pt); 18-19 FT; 30 rebounds; 27 fouls; Scoring: Parker Buysse 14, Connor Yaggie 2, Richard Gorhman 2, Blaze Smith 6, Nate Lorenz 17, Jordan Christensen 11, Alex Myhia 2; 3-point shots: Lorenz 2, Christensen 1, Smith 1; Rebound leaders: Lorenz 13, Christensen 6; Assist leaders: none; Steal leaders: Lorenz 2