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Twin 20s: Tigers hoops teams wrapping up solid seasons

The Morris Area boys basketball team has been flying high this season, winning its first conference title since 2003-2004. The Tigers open the Section 6AA subsection tournament on Thursday at home. Sun Tribune file photo by Nancy Woodke.

By Tom Larson, Sun Tribune

The Morris Area boys basketball team is gearing up for the Section 6AA sub-section playoffs, and the Tigers girls team just ended a successful season with a narrow lose in the sub-section semifinals.

Both Tigers teams have put together solid seasons in the past, but it's not a common occurrence for both teams to post 20-win seasons in the same year.

The Tigers boys team plays Long Prairie-Grey Eagle at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 12, in Morris.

The girls team ended its season 20-5 after a 60-55 tournament loss to Osakis last weekend.

See the Sun-Tribune sports section for a preview of the boys' opening sub-section game.

The Tigers boys earned a spot in the Minnesota State Tournament in 2003-2004 and finished with a 23-5 record. Since then, the Tigers have won just one playoff game, in 2006-2007, over Lac qui Parle Valley.

But with an unselfish, young team and an up-and-coming B squad, coach Mark Torgerson sees good things ahead.

"Our depth is remarkable," Torgerson said. "We've had really balanced scoring, and not one of our guys stands out. We get something from all our guys each and every game."

The Tigers girls loss to Osakis stings now, but the season was a great success and a tribute to a team rising above expectations, said coach Ken Gagner.

The Tigers record tied them with the 2000-2001 team (20-7) for the second-most victories in school history. The 1998-1999 team was 22-7 and finished third in the state.

"It was an outstanding year," Gagner said. "It hurts right now but they really did have a nice season. We maybe played above our level a little bit and maybe we shouldn't have won 20 games, but we'll take them and they deserved them."

Gagner noted that, with the exception of New London-Spicer, the Tigers defeated all the teams on their schedule this season at least once.

The Tigers also fared well in the West Central South Conference, which routinely has teams like New London-Spicer and Albany contending for state championships.

The Tigers will return next season with three players who contributed this season, but the rest of the spots are open, Gagner said.

"I tell our young kids that for the first time in two or three years, we really have some openings," Gagner said. "They have to want it and work for the opportunity."