Staples-Motley tops Morris/CA in final
MORRIS -- Morris/Chokio-Alberta's luck and tenacity ran out Tuesday.
The Tigers, who won two of their last three games in overtime, lost to Staples-Motley 57-43 in the Section 6AA-West title game at the University of Minnesota-Morris.
Able to overcome slow starts, especially in Saturday's semifinal win over West Central Area, the Tigers found themselves in a 9-0 hole to start Tuesday's game. Morris/CA didn't score a point until Cory Hennen's basket with 11:52 left.
"We played hard, we just didn't win," said Morris/CA coach Mark Torgerson. "They just played great defense."
The Cardinals (24-5), who will face New London-Spicer for the Section 6A championship Friday, clamped down on the Tigers and didn't let them run to easy points.
"We average about 70 points a game and they held us in the 40s," Torgerson said. "They got back and we didn't get any layups and fast breaks."
Corey Nohl banked in a three-pointer to pull the Tigers within two points of the lead with five minutes left in the half, but Staples-Motley methodically put points on the board and had a 21-13 lead with 2:40 remaining.
The Tigers were able get within three on a Lincoln Arnold basket, but Jon Bristow scored with three seconds left for a 24-19 halftime score. Arnold finished with a team-high 13 points. Jason Johnson was Staples-Motley's force in the middle, leading the team with 15 points.
The Tigers didn't get off to good start in the second half, committing three quick fouls. Though none were shooting fouls, it would put more pressure on Morris/CA as the half wore on.
"We talked about keeping them off the free-throw line. I thought we were going to crawl back in it, but they hit a couple of big shots," Torgerson said.
Morris/CA got within six points and Derek Wolhowe sank a three-pointer to put Staples-Motley up 43-34. The Cardinals finished off the game by making eight straight free throws.
Staples-Motley 57, Morris/CA 43
Staples-Motley (24-5) 24 33 -- 57
Morris/CA (25-3) 19 24 -- 43
STAPLES-MOTLEY - 14 FG (5 3-pt); 22-32 FT; rebounds not available; 14 fouls ... Scoring: Trevor Wentworth 5, Jason Johnson 15, Jordan Peterson 2, Derek Wolhowe 14, Jordan Riewer 12, Jon Bristow 10 ... 3-point shots: Wolhowe 4, Bristow 1 ... Rebound, assist and steal leaders not available
MORRIS/CHOKIO-ALBERTA - 18-56 FG (4-17 3-pt); 3-7 FT; 24 rebounds; 25 fouls ... Scoring: Corey Nohl 3, Cory Hennen 5, Lincoln Arnold 13, Alex Erickson 9, Eric Riley 6, Daniel Tiernan 2, Jackson Henrich 5 ... 3-point shots: Nohl 1, Hennen 1, Arnold 1, Erickson 1 ... Rebound leaders: Nohl 6, Hennen 5 ... Assist leaders: Arnold 2 ... Steal leaders: Arnold 2