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Section boys basketball roundup: Morris/CA clicks to down Litchfield

Prep boys basketball report for Thursday, March 10, 2022, in west central Minnesota. Top-seeded Tigers beat Dragons 67-42 in 3AA-North semifinal

Litchfield senior Dominic Dietel is heavily guarded by Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta senior Jackon Loge during a Section 3AA-North semifinal boys basketball game at Willmar High School on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
Litchfield senior Dominic Dietel is heavily guarded by Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta senior Jackon Loge during a Section 3AA-North semifinal boys basketball game at Willmar High School on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — Morris/Chokio-Alberta found the right defensive formula against Litchfield the first time around.

When the Tigers and Dragons faced off on Dec. 9, the Tigers switched their three-quarters press to man-to-man in the second half. That resulted in holding Litchfield to 10 second-half points in a 43-32 victory.

And with the season on the line in the Section 3AA-North semifinals, Morris/CA’s defense pulled through again. The top-seeded Tigers held the fifth-seeded Dragons to 13 first-half points en route to a 67-42 victory at the Big Red Gym at Willmar Senior High School.

Litchfield sophomore Blake Aller  guards Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta senior Brandon Jergenson during a Section 3AA-North semifinal boys basketball game at Willmar High School on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
Litchfield sophomore Blake Aller guards Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta senior Brandon Jergenson during a Section 3AA-North semifinal boys basketball game at Willmar High School on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

“We made the decision after watching a lot of tape that man-to-man was going to be our best,” said Morris/CA head coach Mark Torgerson. “We thought we had good matchups.”

It also helps having a 6-foot-8 center and Minnesota Mr. Basketball semifinalist Jackson Loge roaming the paint. The future Augustana Viking had five blocks to go with six rebounds and a steal.

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The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta student section cheers on their team during a Section 3AA-North semifinal boys basketball game at Willmar High School on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta student section cheers on their team during a Section 3AA-North semifinal boys basketball game at Willmar High School on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

“Our man-to-man was amazing in the first half,” Loge said. “We knew if we kept it up with the pace we were playing at, we’d win the game.

“We won the game because of defense. We could have shot half as good as we did and we still could have won because of our defense.”

On the offensive end, Loge scored 13 of his game-high 30 points in the opening half. The Tigers built a 33-13 lead at the break.

Thomas Tiernan provided some extra punch for the Tigers with 22 points. Most of his damage came from the perimeter with six 3-pointers. As a team, Morris/CA made nine 3-pointers.

“They made threes in this game; they didn’t make threes against us the first time,” said Litchfield head coach Matt Draeger. “We knew if they made threes that it was going to be a tall task.”

Morris/CA shot 58.1% from the field (25 of 43).

Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta senior Jackon Loge grabs a rebound away from Litchfield sophomore Blake Aller during a Section 3AA-North semifinal boys basketball game at Willmar High School on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta senior Jackon Loge grabs a rebound away from Litchfield sophomore Blake Aller during a Section 3AA-North semifinal boys basketball game at Willmar High School on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

“We really shot well and I think that’s thanks to our ball movement,” Loge said. “We cut and we drove to the hoop, we made our threes, which helps because we’ve struggled the last couple games. This was a great turnaround for us.”

Logan King was the Dragons’ top scorer with 11 points. Beau Weseloh followed up with nine.

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Litchfield senior Logan King drives the ball up the court while being defended by Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta senior Durgin Decker during a Section 3AA-North semifinal boys basketball game at Willmar High School on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
Litchfield senior Logan King drives the ball up the court while being defended by Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta senior Durgin Decker during a Section 3AA-North semifinal boys basketball game at Willmar High School on Thursday, March 10, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Looking to win the section title for the second straight year, the Tigers play third-seeded West Central Area for the North championship at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the R/A Facility at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.

Section 3AA-North

Morris/CA 67, Litchfield 42

Litchfield (12-16)      13   29 — 42
Morris/CA (25-2)       33   34 — 67
LITCHFIELD - Scoring: Logan King 11, Beau Weseloh 9, Alex Draeger 7, Dom Dietel 6, Blake Aller 2, Creighton Huhner 2, Caleb Hoffman 2, Elijah Schacherer 2, Jacob Dietel 1 … 3-point shots: Draeger 1 … Rebound leader: n/a … Assist leader: n/a … Steal leader: n/a ... Block leader: n/a 
MORRIS/CHOKIO-ALBERTA - Scoring: Jackson Loge 30, Thomas Tiernan 22, Brandon Jergenson 5, Cole Wente 4, Tyler Berlinger 2, Toby Gonnerman 2, Sam Kleinwolterink 2 … 3-point shots: Tiernan 6, Loge 3, Jergenson 1 … Rebound leader: Loge 6 … Assist leader: Jergenson 7 … Steal leader: Tyler Berlinger 2, Tiernan 2 ... Block leader: Loge 5 

Section 2A-North

BOLD 56, BLHS 53

With 23 points from senior Maxwell Marks, BOLD was able to thwart upset-minded Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart in the Section 2A-North semifinals at St. Peter.

The sixth-seeded Mustangs started the tournament with an upset over third-seeded Lester Prairie on Tuesday, 60-54.

Along with Marks’ big night, Ryan King had a double-double for the second-seeded Warriors. He finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds. Freshman Jack Gross added 14 points in the victory.

In the sub-section finals, BOLD faces top-seeded Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s. The Knights beat fourth-seeded New Ulm Cathedral on Thursday, 63-59.

BOLD and SESM play at 6 p.m. Tuesday back in St. Peter.

BLHS (11-13)      27   26 — 53
BOLD (20-8)       26   30 — 56
BUFFALO LAKE-HECTOR-STEWART - Stats not available
BOLD - Scoring: Jack Gross 14, Ryan King 18, Hudson Vosika 1, Ethan Sullivan 8, Cole Visser 8, Maxwell Marks 23 … 3-point shots: Visser 2, Gross 1, Sullivan 1, Marks 1 … Rebound leader: King 17 … Assist leader: Gross 3, King 3, Sullivan 3 … Steal leader: Sullivan 2 ... Block leader: Gross 1

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Section 3A-North

CMCS 61, LPQV 57

Central Minnesota Christian fended off Lac qui Parle Valley to advance to the sub-section finals at the R/A Facility at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.

The top-seeed Bluejays led the fourth-seeded Eagles 27-19 at halftime.

All four of CMCS’ scorers finished in double figures. Ethan Bulthuis led the way with 17 points, followed by 15 each by Ben Van Eps and Caleb Vander Beek. Case Mulder chipped in with 14 points.

The Bluejays will face third-seeded Dawson-Boyd for the North championship at 8 p.m. Saturday back at the R/A Facility.

In the South sub-section, fifth-seeded Westbrook-Walnut Grove upset top-seeded Southwest Minnesota Christian, 64-56. In the other game, second-seeded Russell-Tyler-Ruthton beat third-seeded Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, 65-58.

LQPV (17-9)      19   38 — 57
CMCS (24-3)       27   34 — 61
LAC QUI PARLE VALLEY - Stats not available
CENTRAL MINNESOTA CHRISTIAN - Scoring: Ethan Bulthuis 17, Case Mulder 14, Ben VanEps 15, Caleb Vander Beek 15 … 3-point shots: Bulthuis 1, Mulder 1, VanEps 1 … Rebound leader: Brayden Marcus 6, VanderBeek 6 … Assist leader: Mulder 3 … Steal leader: Mulder 3

Dawson-Boyd 62, Lakeview 49

Keegon Wicht had a game-high 22 points to put third-seeded Dawson-Boyd past second-seeded Lakeview at the R/A Facility at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.

Brayson Boike had a double-double for the Blackjacks with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Aiden Swenson tacked on 10 points for D-B.

The Blackjacks’ defense held Lakeview to nine first-half points.

Nathan Fenske was the Lakers’ top scorer with 12 points.

Dawson-Boyd (18-8)      27  35 — 62
Lakeview (22-6)               9   40 — 49
DAWSON-BOYD - Scoring: Keegon Wicht 22, Aiden Swenson 10, Braxton Hahn 4, Brayson Boike 10, Collin Swedzinski 4, Levi Olson 8, Carter Bowen 4 … 3-point shots: Wicht 2, Hahn 1 … Rebound leader: Boike 11, Wicht 6, Swenson 5 … Assist leader: Wicht 4, Hahn 3 … Steal leader: Wicht 4, Hahn 3 ... Block leader: Boike 3, Bowen 1 
LAKEVIEW - Scoring: Kiegan Marczak 3, Owen Louwagie 8, Taiven Isaackson 10, Nathan Fenske 12, Ethan Schwanki 6, Kyran Neuman 2, Ethan Staab 2, Koltin Mulder 6 … 3-point shots: Isaackson 1, Marczak 1 … Rebound leader: Isaackson 5, Fenske 5, Schwanki 4 … Steal leader: Louwagie 4, Fenske 3

Section 6A-South

BBE 67,Benson 41

Keeping Benson out of double figures in the first half, top-seeded Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa cruised to victory in the Section 6A-South playoffs in Brooten.

Luke Dingmann (15), Kaden Pieper (14) and Ashton Dingmann (12) all finished in double figures for the Jaguars. Pieper also snagged 10 rebounds for the double-double.

The eighth-seeded Braves end the year with a 4-24 record.

BBE plays fourth-seeded Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg in the sub-section semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday at Minnewaska High School in Glenwood.

In other 6A-South action Thursday, No. 2 Ashby beat No. 7 Parkers Praire, 49-41. No. 3 Hancock advanced with a 72-55 win over No. 6 Brandon-Evansville.

BBE (23-4)          35   32 — 67
Benson (4-24)      8   33 — 41
BENSON - Stats not available
BELGRADE-BROOTEN-ELROSA - Scoring: Kaden Pieper 14, Brady Birch 2, Will Van Beck 4, Tanner Shelton 8, Gannon Walsh 3, Ashton Dingmann 12, Samuel Mastey 2, Easton Hagen 1, Luke Dingmann 15, Gavin Kampsen 4 … 3-point shots: Shelton 2, Walsh 1, Dingmann 1 … Rebound leader: Pieper 10, Hagen 7, L. Dingmann 7, A. Dingmann 6 … Assist leader: Van Beck 7 … Steal leader: Shelton 4 ... Block leader: L. Dingmann 1

KMS 49, W/H-N 47

With 13 seconds left to play, a bucket by senior Alex Call gave Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg a 49-47 edge on Wheaton/Herman-Norcross.

The fifth-seeded Warriors had the final shot, but Clint Determan’s 3-pointer didn’t fall, giving the fourth-seeded Fighting Saints the Section 6A-South victory at Kerkhoven.

“Call played really well for us,” KMS head coach Matt Fragodt said.

He added, “Give W/N-H credit. (They were) tough defensively all the way through. (They’re) hard to match up with.”

Call paced KMS with 20 points along with six rebounds, five assists and three blocks. Isaac Rudningen tallied 12 points in the victory

W/H-N (17-9)      24   23 — 47
KMS (17-9)        28   21 — 49
WHEATON/HERMAN-NORCROSS - Scoring: Dylan Bainbridge 20, Zach Braaten 8, Brayden Hofer 2, Andrew Walker 8, Clint Determan 9  … 3-point shots: Bainbridge 3, Walker 2
KERKHOVEN-MURDOCK-SUNBURG - Scoring: Alex Call 20, Isaac Rudningen 12, DeAndre Holloway 6, Jared Cortez 2, Gavin Thorson 3, Gage Thorson 2, Hunter Kallstrom 4 … 3-point shots: Call 2, Gavin Thorson 1 … Rebound leader: Kallstrom 7, Call 6, Rudningen 5 … Assist leader: Call 5, Cortez 4 … Steal leader: Call 1, Drew Johnson 1 ... Block leader: Call 3

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