The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta boys' basketball team crossed the border to get their 13th win, defeating Milbank 61-49 Tuesday.
"The Tigers used a strong fourth-quarter rally to stave off the upset minded Milbank Bulldogs," said coach Mark Torgerson. "That's right, a fourth-quarter rally was the difference as South Dakota still plays four eight-minute quarters compared to the Minnesota side where halves are played.
"The fourth-quarter surge was needed as the Tigers trailed 37-35 going into the final frame as Milbank's 6-foot-9 center Isaac Lindquist and his teammates were giving the Tigers fits inside all night long," explained Torgerson. "In the end, however, the Tigers cranked up the defensive pressure and then the offense started hitting on all cylinders and the Tigers got out of South Dakota with their 13th win against three losses.
"The Tigers jumped out to a nice lead in the first quarter as Logan Manska connected on a trio of baskets to lead the way," added Torgerson. "Lincoln Berget got loose inside for a pair of baskets that helped give the Tigers a 16-8 lead after one quarter.
"The Bulldogs' inside game got going in the second quarter and it got the Bulldogs back into the game. Along with Lindquist's presence inside, the Bulldogs also had a pair of forwards in Andy Buchele and Ben Forrette that gave the Tigers fits in the paint. By halftime, the Tigers' lead was only 22-19 and it was anybody's game.
"The third quarter saw the Bulldogs continuing to pound the ball inside and it eventually would allow Milbank to gain its first lead of the night," Torgerson said. "The Tigers did get six points from Austin Dierks, but Lindquist countered with 11 points in the quarter and Milbank led 37-35 going into the final quarter.
"Milbank would actually build the lead to six points early in the final quarter before the Tigers awakened in a big way.
"Defensively, the Tigers started to put some pressure on the Milbank guards and big John Tiernan would get assigned to Lindquist and the momentum started leaning the Tigers' way.
"Chandler Erickson was one of the big keys as he turned a pair of steals into a pair of awesome baskets including a three-point play where he just outhustled a Bulldog guard all the way to the rim," explained Torgerson. "The other spark came off the bench from a pair of three-point baskets by Jacob Torgerson. The first three pulled the Tigers back within a point and the second three came moments later that gave the Tigers the lead for good.
"Austin Dierks connected for six more points inside and Nic Vipond and Manska sealed the win with their free-throw shooting."
Dierks finished with a team-high 15 points and six rebounds, while Logan Manska finished with 11 points and Erickson had 10.
"The Tigers shot an impressive 59 percent from the field."
Erickson also collected seven assists and two steals to lead both categories.
Morris/C-A 61,Milbank 49
Morris/C-A 16 6 13 26 — 61
Milbank 8 11 18 12 — 49
MORRIS/CHOKIO-ALBERTA – 23-39 FG (3-8 3-pt); 12-23 FT; 21 rebounds; 12 fouls; Scoring: Nic Vipond 9, Lincoln Berget 4, Logan Manska 12,Jake Torgerson 6, Austin Dierks 15,Chandler Erickson 10, John Tiernan 5; 3-point shots: Torgerson 2, Erickson 1; Rebounds: Vipond 2, Berget 4, Torgerson 1, Dierks 6, Erickson 4, Tiernan 4; Assists: Vipond 1, Berget 1, Manska 2, Dierks 1, Erickson 7, Tiernan 1; Steals: Berget 1, Manska 1, Torgerson 1, Dierks 1, Erickson 2
MILBANK SD – 20-48 FG (1-8 3-pt); 8-12 FT; 24rebounds; 16 fouls; Scoring leaders: Andy Buchele 15, Ben Forrette 11, Isaac Lindquist 19, Justin Ackerman 3; 3-point shots: Ackerman