Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta suffered just its fourth loss of the boys’ basketball season, 77-55, on Friday to the No. 1 ranked team in the state in class AA, the Melrose Dutchmen.
The Tigers are now 10-2 in the West Central North, stuck in second place behind 9-0 Melrose.
“It was the Scottie Stone show on this Friday night as the senior guard lit up the Tigers for 34 points,” said Tiger coach Mark Torgerson. “In doing so he became the school's all-time leading scorer as he passed the legendary Mark Olberding on the career scoring list.
“Ironically, the 34 points were below his previous two games when he scored 44 and 40 points, respectively,” added Torgerson. “He had 23 of his 34 points in the first half including a buzzer-beating half-court shot that put the Dutchmen up 43-23. Let's not forget the other Melrose players and their contributions in dominating the Tigers at least in the first half.
“The game was tight early as the Tigers hung in there in the games’ first five minutes,” explained Torgerson. “With the score 11-11, however, the Dutchmen went on one of their runs and it was triggered by Stone. When he hit his eighth and ninth points of the game, Melrose called a time out and the game was stopped to present him the game ball for breaking the school record that had held since the mid 1970s. Olberding, who played at the University of Minnesota his freshmen year before a nine-year run in the NBA and ABA, held the record with 1,734 points.
“The Tigers went cold the rest of the first half and the Dutchmen took the 20-point lead into halftime.
“The Tigers played a competitive second half, getting outscored by two points in the half, but still couldn't mount a serious comeback.
“The balance of Melrose showed in the second half as stone was held to 11 points, but others helped pick up the slack.
“For the Tigers, the rebounding, shooting, and defensive effort was better in the second half, as they managed to compete at a much higher level.
“Logan Manska scored all 14 of his team-high points in the second half and Jacob Torgerson nailed a pair of threes to try and stage a Tiger comeback.
“John Tiernan's hard work inside helped the cause as he finished with eight points.
“The other Tiger who gained double figures was center Austin Dierks, who managed another double double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
“Throw in six points from Lincoln Berget and the Tigers had a respectable second half.
“The Tigers will get a second chance at the Dutchmen this Thursday, Feb. 14 as they come to Morris for a rematch. The Tigers, if they have any hope of a conference crown, must find a way to stop Stone and the Dutchmen. Melrose has a two-game cushion on both MACA and Sauk Centre in the West Central North standings.
“Melrose is also a team that is in the Tigers’ Section (6AA), although they are in the other half of the Sub-Section.
“The Tigers face another tough opponent prior to the Melrose rematch as they host highly skilled 4AA Alexandria this Tuesday at the Tiger gym. The Cardinals are coached by former Tiger Forrest Witt."
Melrose 77, Morris/C-A 55
Morris/C-A 23 32 — 55
Melrose 43 34 — 77
MORRIS/CHOKIO-ALBERTA – 21-56 FG (4-17 3-pt); 9-14 FT; 26 rebounds; 11 fouls; Scoring: Nic Vipond 7, Lincoln Berget 6, Logan Manska 14, Jacob Torgerson 8, Austin Dierks 11, Chandler Erickson 1, John Tiernan 8; 3-point shots: Torgerson 2, Manska 2; Rebounds: Dierks 10, Tiernan 6, Berget 5, Vipond 2, Dillon McNally 1, Manska 1, Torgerson 1; Assists: Erickson 4, Berget 3, Torgerson 3, Dierks 3, Vipond 2; Steals: Erickson 3, Torgerson 2, Vipond 1, Berget 1, Manska 1
MELROSE – 29 FG (11 3-pt); 8-13 FT; 29 rebounds; 13 fouls; Scoring: Seth Noll 8, Isaac Sawyer 14, Ryan Elfering 7, Scottie Stone 34, Mitch Reller 2, Ty Reller 2, Mitch Niehaus 10; 3-point shots: Noll 2, Sawyer 2, Stone 7; Rebound leaders: Elfering 6; Assist leaders: Stone 7; Steal leaders: Niehaus 2