Tiger boys improve to 9-2 with come-from-behind win over Benson
Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta came back in the second half to take the lead from Benson and the Tigers went on to win 60-48 in West Central Conference boys' basketball action Friday at home.
With the win the Tigers improve to 9-2 overall and remain unbeaten in the conference at 6-0.
The Braves led the majority of the first half before being held scoreless for the first third of the second half as the Tigers took control.
"The Tigers' arch rivals, the Braves, gave the Tigers a real battle despite coming into the game with only two wins on the season," admitted coach Mark Torgerson. "In fact, the Braves controlled the tempo and the lead by halftime and the Tigers needed a strong second half spurt to survive this one.
"The Braves jumped out ahead early on a pair of three pointers by Daniel Lee and Matt Arndt and that seemed to spark them for the entire first half."
Arndt scored 15 of his team-high 20 points in the first half to keep the Braves ahead on the scoreboard for the entire first half.
"The Tigers finally got their offensive game going midway through the half as Austin Dierks got busy on the inside and guard Jacob Torgerson hit a pair of threes to keep the Tigers close.
"Benson, running a spread offense that kept the Tigers a little frustrated, took a 31-26 lead into the locker room at halftime," added Torgerson. "Needless to say, the Tiger energy level lacked some in the first half that did not sit well with the fine hometown crowd that showed up for the Friday night game.
"The second half saw a complete Tiger turn around that started on the defensive end," explained Torgerson. "No doubt, the defensive effort starting the second half had a lot to do with the Tiger come back in this contest.
"Coupled with the defensive effort was the fine second half of Tiger point guard Chandler Erickson, who scored all 12 of this points in the second half," Torgerson said. "Erickson cashed in a pair of threes and drove the paint for another couple baskets to help the Tigers gain the lead."
Logan Manska and Tyler Henrichs each chipped in a pair of buckets and the Tiger lead rose to double digits with just under five minutes to play.
"Defensively, the Tigers gave up only 17 second-half points to keep their conference record unblemished.
"Austin Dierks continues to rack up big stats as he finished with 20 points and a season-high 16 rebounds.
"The Tigers ended the game with a plus nine on the boards, most of that advantage coming in the second half."
The Tigers shot 43 percent from the field.
Jacob Torgerson ended the night with 10 points to put three Tigers in double figures. Torgerson and Erickson each had a team-high four assists.
Three Braves also scored in double figures with Matthew Ahrndt leading the way with 20 behind a quartet of three-pointers. Daniel Lee followed with 11 points and Colin Ose had 10.
This week the Tigers play a pair of road games, traveling to Yellow Medicine East Thursday for a conference game and going on the road for a non-conference Saturday afternoon contest with the Ortonville Trojans.
Benson 31 17 -- 48
Morris/C-A 26 34 -- 60
MORRIS/CHOKIO-ALBERTA - 22-51 FG (5-17 3-pt); 11-20 FT; 31 rebounds; 19 fouls; Scoring: Tom Holland 2, Tyler Henrichs 4, Lincoln Berget 3, Logan Manska 7, Jacob Torgerson 10, Austin Dierks 20, Chandler Erickson 12, Jon Tiernan 2; 3-point shots: Torgerson 3, Erickson 2; Rebounds: Dierks 16, Nic Vipond 4, Henrichs 1, Berget 4, Manska 1, Torgerson 1, Erickson 3, Tiernan 1; Assists: Torgerson 4, Erickson 4, Henrichs 2, Berget 2, Vipond 1, Holland 1; Steals: Holland 2, Torgerson 1, Erickson 1
BENSON - 16-38 FG (7-17 3-pt); 9-19 FT; 22 rebounds; 18 fouls; Scoring: Daniel Lee 11, Aaron Ahrndt 5, Eric Lagge 1, Colin Ose 10, Matthew Ahrndt 20, Hayden Lee 1; 3-point shots: D. Lee 2, Ose 1, M. Ahrndt 4; Rebound leaders: Ose 4; Assist leaders: A. Ahrndt 3; Steal leaders: D. Lee 3