The Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta girls basketball team was busy last week with three conference ball games, all at the friendly confines of Morris Area High School. First, the Tigers earned their first win of the season with a 43-29 win over Melrose Dec. 5. On Dec. 7, MACA fell at the hands of New London-Spicer 56-38 and just a day later, they came up short against West Central Area 70-50 in the opening game of a double-header with the boys.
The Tigers were able to earn their first win of the season when they hosted Melrose in Morris. MACA fell behind in the first half, but a strong second half propelled the Tigers to a 14-point victory.
Both teams really struggled offensively in the first half with only 22 combined points between the two teams in the first 18 minutes of play. When the teams retired to the locker room, the Tigers found themselves down 13-9.
MACA really turned things around in the second half and scored 34 points, outscoring the Dutchmen by 18 points in the final frame to secure the 14-point victory.
Kaylee Harstad led the team in scoring with 13 points and was the only player to have more than eight points. She also led the team in rebounding, recording a double-double with 11 boards. Brianna Marty chipped in with eight points, three rebounds, two assists and a team high five steals. Addison Cihak added seven points for the Tigers. Morgan Harstad and Cate Kehoe both chipped in with five points. Morgan Hastad had five rebounds and Kehoe added six rebounds and a team high four assists.
In their second straight home game, the Tigers hosted undefeated and defending conference champion New London-Spicer Wildcats in Morris. MACA hung around as long as they could, but the Wildcats were just too much for the Tigers to handle with the game ending 56-38 in favor of NLS.
The Tigers played from behind in the first half, but stayed within striking distance and were not out of the game. By the end of the first 18 minutes, NLS held a 34-23 advantage over MACA.
It was more of a defensive struggle in the second half. The Tigers were only outscored by seven points in the final 18 minutes, but could not make a significant push to threaten the lead at all and the Wildcats cruised their way to an 18-point win.
On offense, the Tigers only shot 37.2 percent from the floor as a team. They actually had a better percentage from three-point range at 37.5, but they only cashed in three deep balls.
Kaylee Harstad was once again the only Tiger in double figures and finished leading the team with 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Kehoe chipped in with nine points and five rebounds. Maddie Fehr added six points and four rebounds. Marty had a tough time scoring and only finished with two points, but did pull in four rebounds and led the team with four assists.
In their fourth straight home game to start the year, the Tigers welcomed the West Central Area Knights to Morris for a conference contest. The Knights were too much to handle, and the Tigers lost their second in the row with a 20-point loss to the Knights.
In the first half, the Knights did enough to stay in front and eventually built up a double-digit advantage. By the halftime break, the Knights held onto a 35-22 advantage.
The Tigers played better in the second half, but it was not nearly enough. They were only outscored by seven points in the second frame, but could never threaten the Knight lead and WCA finished the game with a 20-point win.
Kaylee Harstad led the team with 18 points and eight rebounds. Kehoe also finished in double figures with 11 points, three steals and two rebounds. Cihak added eight points and five rebounds. Marty chipped in with seven points, five rebounds and led the team with three assists and four steals.
The Tigers were back on the floor Dec. 12 when they traveled to Litchfield to take on the dragons. MACA will play a rivalry game at home against Minnewaska Area on Friday, December 15.