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Tiger girls defeat Benson for second place in conference

A balanced scoring attack boosted Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta to a 48-44 victory over Benson in a West Central Conference South girls' basketball game on Saturday.

The Tigers improved to 5-1 in the conference to take sole possession of second place, one game behind front-running Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City. The Tigers and Falcons will battle for the conference lead Monday night in Morris.

The win keeps the Tigers a perfect 7-0 at home and the two conference foes will meet again on Jan. 26. The Braves dropped to 4-2 in the WCC South and 9-3 overall.

Junior Sarah Kuhn scored eight of her nine total points to keep the Tigers in the game early.

"Sarah was tough tonight," said coach Ken Gagner. "We were struggling to score in that first half and Sarah hit two big threes to pull us into the lead. She played great defense and hit the boards well for us. She was a key to our success."

After a 21-17 Tiger advantage at halftime, Benson took the lead twice in the second half. The Tigers went on a 10-0 run before Benson whittled the deficit to three and had the ball with 30 seconds remaining.

"Fortunately for us we had a call go our way and senior post Nicole Gillespie iced the game by hitting one of two free throws with just 10 seconds remaining on the clock," said Gagner.

Jenna Nelson and Gillespie had 12 points apiece for the Tigers. Mary Rentz added 10 points.

Gillespie and Rentz each grabbed six rebounds.

The B and C squads also hit the win column in a sweep for the Tiger program.

Emily Auch led Benson with 17 points and nine rebounds. Julia Anrndt added 13 points.