Freshman Jackson Loge dropped a career-high 43 points to carry the Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta boys basketball team to a 90-65 win over No. 6 Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City in the Section 3AA-North playoff opener Saturday, March 2, in Morris.
“Jackson was the key for us offensively all night,” Morris/C-A head coach Mark Torgerson said. “When we got the ball inside, we scored most of the time.”
The Tigers trailed 37-36 after a mediocre performance in the first half.
“ACGC again played us very tough. They hit shots and ran a good offense in the first half especially,” Torgerson said. “When we were down 29-21 there was certainly a concern that it was going to be one of those nights…We sometimes settled for shots from the perimeter that weren't really that good of shots in the first half. I think we even got out hustled a bit in the first half, so getting the game close by halftime really helped us.”
Coming out of the break, the Tigers changed the momentum into their favor. Senior Jaret Johnson hit a three-pointer to give MACA the lead.
“We started pressing and really increased our intensity. With that came some foul trouble and that was a concern,” Torgeson said of the Tigers, who were in the double bonus with nearly 10 minutes left in the game. “With Camden (Arndt) in foul trouble, I felt Zach Hughes stepped up and handled the point guard spot very well and our two freshmen (Thomas Tiernan and Durgin Decker) came in and gave us great minutes on both ends. Jackson (Loge) continued to step up his game and we gradually pulled away.”
Johnson finished the game with 22 points, 14 coming in the second half. Loge finished with a career-high 43 on 18-for-21 shooting.
“That is really something for a freshman in a playoff game,” Torgerson said of Loge, who tied Brett Winkelman for the second-most points scored in a single game in program history. Taylor Witt holds the No. 1 spot with 47 points in a game that went to double overtime against Lac qui Parle Valley in 2007.
The Tigers will take on No. 2 Minnewaska in the Section 3AA-North semifinals at 7:30 p.m Thursday, March 7, in Willmar. The Lakers beat No. 7 Benson 50-37 Saturday, at Minnewaska Area High School in Glenwood.
Last season, the Tigers lost to Minnewaska in overtime, but both teams are different this year, Torgerson said.
“The Minnewaska game last year was frustrating because we really played well, just didn't shoot free throws well. They went to the state tourney so that made it even harder to swallow, but they had to win two tough games after our game,” Torgerson said. “They had a really good team, so no looking back… A Lot of different players on their team and a couple of new ones on our team.
No. 1 New London-Spicer beat No. 8 Montevideo 74-35 and No. 4 Redwood Valley beat No. 5 Paynesville 80-63 to advance in the north subsection. In the south subsection, No. 1 St. James moves on after 64-56 win over No. 8 Windom, No. 5 Fairmont upset No. 4 Martin County West 64-52, No. 2 Jackson County Central beat No. 7 Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 72-66, and No. 3 Pipestone beat No. 6 Luverne 55-44.
Section 3AA-North semifinal - Thursday, March 7 in Willmar
#1 NL-Spicer vs #4 Redwood Valley, 6 p.m
#2 Minnewaska vs #3 Morris/C-A, 7:30 p.m.
Section 3AA-South semifinal - Thursday, March 7 in Windom
#1 St. James vs #5 Fairmont, 6 p.m.
#2 Jackson County Central vs #3 Pipetone, 7:30 p.m.
Morris/C-A 90, ACGC 65
ACGC (10-17) 37 28 - 65
MCA (18-8) 36 54 - 90
ACGC – No stats provided
MORRIS AREA/CHOKIO-ALBERTA – Scoring: Jaden Maanum 4, Zach Hughes 3, Cam Arndt 8, Cameron Koebernick 2, Jackson Loge 43, Kevin Asfeld 2, Durgin Decker 4, Jaret Johnson 22, Thomas Tiernan 2 ... 3-point shots: Zach Hughes 1, Johnson 4 ... Rebound leader: Loge 15, Johnson 6 ... Assist leader: Johnson 7, Arndt 8 ... Steal leader: NA