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Season record doesn't reflect ability of girls' basketball team

Team awards were presented to (from left) Holly Amundson - Tiger Award, Beth Holland - Hustle Award, MaKenzie Smith - Defensive MVP, and Katie Holzheimer - Offensive MVP. Amundson was also the recipient of the All-state Academic award with her cumulative 4.0 GPA from the Minnesota Girls' Basketball Coaches Association.

The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta girls' basketball team finished the 2011-12 season 9-17 overall with a 4-8 West Central Conference South record.

"Our record wasn't as good as our team's ability," said second-year head coach Dale Henrich. "They never gave up. They never quit."

The Tigers did advance to the second round of the Section 6AA South tournament with a win at Paynesville, but the Tigers' season ended with a loss to New London-Spicer in the semi-final game.

With only one senior on the roster, the Tigers lacked experience on the court, but made up for it with hustle and effort.

"When you look at the program and their age, you'd like to think in the future we've got a lot of talented kids."

The Tigers will lose Holly Amundson to graduation.

"People don't see what she does as a captain," said Henrich. " She was fantastic. She worked hard and didn't complain."

He credits Amundson with the good team chemistry found both in practice and on game night.

Henrich doesn't believe the win/loss record should define the basketball experience. He looks at how much better the team got as the season progressed and at how much fun the kids had in determining that is was a good season.

"Definitely, this is something we can build on for next year," concluded Henrich.

A couple of Tigers made it into the Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta record books.

MaKenzie Smith is on two top-10 lists. She is No. 4 in single-season rebounds with 190 and No. 5 in single-season blocks with 42.

Katie Holzheimer made several single-season lists. She is No. 10 in blocks with 24, No. 9 in steals with 79, No. 9 in points with 326, and No. 1 in three-point shots made with 53. Her 69 career three-points made places her at No. 2, while her 425 career points puts her in the No. 17 spot.

The team also had success off the court, earning a Silver Academic award from the Minnesota Girls' Basketball Coaches Association.