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Tiger girls fall to Thunder in season-ending game

The basketball season ended Thursday at home for the Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta girls with a 43-40 loss to Long Prairie-Grey Eagle in the opening round of Section 6AA-West playoffs.

As the No. 4 seed, the Tigers brought a 15-8 overall record into the game. The No. 5 seeded Thunder had finished the regular season 10-14.

The Tigers struggled from the floor all night, shooting just 30 percent, but held a slight lead for most of the game.

"Give Long Prairie credit. They scouted us and knew we had trouble with the zone," said Tiger coach Ken Gagner. "Coach Steve Christians stayed in it the whole night and we just couldn't find the net when we needed it."

The Tigers still led with just one minute remaining, when it slipped away on a lay-up. With the the Thunder leading 41-40, the Tigers came down for the last shot which ended in a turnover under the basket. After a quick foul, senior post Brittney Kingston nailed two free throws leaving the Tigers with a three-point shot for the tie.

"Similar to the rest of the game, the ball bounced harmlessly off the rim as the buzzer sounded," explained Gagner.

"I would like to thank our four seniors and captains, Mary Rentz, Nicole Gillespie, Kelsey Greenwaldt, and Jenna Nelson. They have played a ton of basketball in their careers and I truly feel bad their season had to end so quickly," Gagner said. "After some time has passed they can be proud of their 15 - 9 season in which they earned the number four seed in section 6AA and finished third in the nine-team West Central Conference South."

Kingston finished with 15 points and Jenna Langer had 14.

Mary Rentz scored 11 points to pace the Tigers. Jenna Nelson added nine points, six assists, and four steals. Erin Schieler added eight points. Nelson, Schieler, and Nicole Gillespie grabbed six rebounds apiece.