Melrose topped the Morris Area / Chokio-Alberta boys’ basketball team in a West Central Conference contest on Friday, Dec. 19 in Melrose. Melrose got off to a hot start, but the Tigers battled back into the game and were trailing by nine at halftime at 33-27. MA/C-A and the undefeated Dutchmen each scored 32 points in the second half, which didn’t help the Tiger deficit at all as they fell 68-59.

Tyler Braegelmann netted a game-high 24 points and Isaac Herkenhoff poured in another 11 for Melrose.

Noah Grove led the Tigers with 15 points, eight rebounds, and two steals to pace MA/C-A. Eric Staebler added 13 points and seven boards, while Jacob Zosel had 10 points and five assists.

The Tigers came off a win from Lac qui Parle Valley on Thursday night in Morris and fell to Melrose on the road. After playing back-to-back nights, the boys still played hard, head coach Mark Torgerson said.

“Melrose got off to a hot start, and we knew we couldn’t afford to get behind that early,” Torgerson said. “We competed with them and got back in the game the second half. You could tell some of the kids were playing on tired legs, but we played hard. Melrose puts a very well-balanced and good team on the court.”

Next up for the Tigers is the fifth annual Annandale tournament on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 29 and 30.

“[The Annandale tournament] is going to be another challenging set of games for us,” Torgerson said. “That is why we decided to go with this tournament this year. We need to continue to improve and playing against quality teams should help us with that.”

The Tigers tip off against host team Annandale on Monday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. The winner will play in the Championship on Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. against the winner of Chatfield and Cannon Falls. The losers of both match ups will play at 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon for third place.

Melrose 68, Morris/C-A 59

Morris/C-A (1-5, 4-5) 27 32 - 59

Melrose (5-0, 6-0) 36 32 - 68

Morris/Chokio-Alberta

20 FG; 16-26 FT; 12 fouls; Scoring: Noah Grove 15, Sean Amundson 5, Ian Howden 2, Riley Biesterfeld 4, Austin Hills 3, Jacob Zosel 10, Andrew Goulet 5, Nic Solvie 2, Eric Staebler 13; 3-point shots: Grove 2, Hills 1; Rebound leader: Staebler 7; Assist leader: Zosel 5; Steal leader: Grove 2

Melrose

28 FG; 8-8 FT; 21 fouls; Scoring: Cesar Cervantes 3, Isaac Herkenhoff 11, Dillon Haider 6, Tyler Braegelmann 24, Drake Meyer 8, Zak Luetmer 6, Colton Meyer 4, Blake Gerads 6; 3-point shots: Cervantes 1, Haider 2, D. Meyer 1; Rebound leader: Meyer 7; Assist leader: Cervantes 5; Steal leader: N/A