Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta outlasted Eden Valley-Watkins in a defensive battle Thursday in the Tigers' home opener for a 49-34 victory.
With the non-conference win, the Tigers improve to 2-1.
The Tiger defense held the Eagles to only 12 first-half points. The Eagles shot just 26 percent on 14-for-53 shooting from the field.
The Tigers shot 45 percent for the game, but made just two of their 10 free throws.
"These two teams played a play-off game in March and the final outcome saw the Tigers defeating the Eagles by one point in overtime," said coach Mark Torgerson. "Quite the contrast to this early season contest with both teams bringing back the same nucleus of players."
The game was a defensive battle from the start, but the Tigers gradually pulled ahead.
The Eagles managed just six field goals by six different players in the first half and the Tigers took a 24-12 lead into the locker room.
"The other glaring difference was the Tiger rebounding effort," added Torgerson. "In their narrow play-off win last year, the Tigers were outrebounded by almost a 2-to-1 margin by the Eagles, but not in this contest."
The Tigers had a 31-28 rebounding edge.
"Most of the Eagle chances on offense were of the one and done variety as the Tiger defense scrapped their way to an edge on the boards and the scoreboard," explained Torgerson. "Very little was done by either team as far as halftime adjustments, as the second half was much of the same."
Austin Dierks had a double-double game with 17 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Tigers. Jake Torgerson added nine points, Chandler Erickson had six assists, and Lincoln Berget and John Tiernan recorded six rebounds each.
EV-Watkins 12 22 -- 34
Morris/C-A 24 25 -- 49
MORRIS/CHOKIO-ALBERTA - 22-49 FG (3-11 3-pt); 2-10 FT; 31 rebounds; 11 fouls; Scoring: Tyler Henrichs 7, Lincoln Berget 4, Logan Manska 4, Jake Torgerson 9, Austin Dierks 17, Chandler Erickson 2, John Tiernan 6; 3-point shots: Torgerson 2, Henrichs 1; Rebounds: Vipond 1, Henrichs 2, Manska 2, Torgerson 2, Erickson 2, Dierks 10, Berget 6, Tiernan 6; Assists: Tom Holland 1, Henrichs 1, Berget 1, Manska 2, Erickson 6, Torgerson 3; Steals: Manska 1, Torgerson 1, Erickson 1
EDEN VALLEY-WATKINS - 14-53 FG (2-9 3-pt); 4-6 FT; 28 rebounds; 14 fouls; Scoring: Kirby Knutson 2, Brent Stenger 4, Bret Mattice 16, Alex Geislinger 2, Mitch Lease 2, Jared Streit 8; 3-point shots: Mattice 2; Rebound leaders: Streit 10; Assist leaders: none; Steal leaders: none