Tigers go 2-1 last week with nail biting win and loss

The Tigers improved to 3-1 with a 2-1 week last week. They started with a blow out win on the road against Lac qui Parle Valley Dec. 2 by a score of 78-43. In another road game against Melrose Area on Dec. 5, the Tigers snuck out of town with a 68-65 victory. They capped the week off as the back end of a double-header with the girls team against West Central Area in Morris on Dec. 8 where they had their hearts broken with a 65-64 loss to the Knights for their first loss of the season.

MACA 78

LqPV 43

The Tigers earned their second road win of the season when they blew past the Eagles by 35 points. MACA started hot and never cooled down on their way to starting 2-0.

The Tigers went on a 12-3 run right out of the gates and LqPV could never make it interesting. MACA stayed in front for the entire first half, entering the locker room for halftime with their biggest lead of the game, 43-22. 

The Tigers definitely took their foot off the gas in the second half of action. It was a slower pace, but the Tiger lead only continued to grow. 

With the game well in hand, the Tigers still outscored the Eagles by 12 points in the final half to finish with a 35-point blowout victory.

The Tigers shot the ball well all night long, finishing with a 49.1 shooting percentage and a particularly deadly 43.5 percent from three including 10 threes. MACA won nearly every team statistical category. They outrebounded LqPV 34-24, they outscored LqPV 30-16 in the paint and had 29 points off turnovers compared to just four from LqPV. The Tigers really took care of the ball, finishing with just 11 turnovers and forcing 24 from the Eagles. 

Riley Asmus led the squad with 25 points off five three balls and had a team high eight rebounds. Charlie Hanson added 12 points, four rebounds and a team high four assists.Drew Huebner added 10 points, five rebounds and three assists. Jack Kehoe chipped in with nine points and pulled in three rebounds. Owen Anderson and Tyler Friesen both only scored three points on offense, but both were absolute menaces on defense with Anderson picking off seven steals and Friesen snatching five.

MACA 68

Melrose 65

The Tigers led wire-to-wire against the Dutchmen on the road. While MACA was in front for the whole game, things got tense down the stretch. 

MACA came out of the gates with their hair on fire and exploded for an 18-2 run to put themselves in a dominating position early in the contest.

The Tigers and Dutchmen then traded baskets for the rest of the first half and MACA went into the locker room with a 35-18 advantage.

Once again, MACA started the second half strong and opened up their largest lead of the game at 50-24, but the game was far from over.

Melrose quickly went on a 12-0 run to cut the lead down to 14 points and slowly continued to chip away at the gap. 

With only a minute remaining in the game, the Dutchmen hit a three to get the Tiger lead down to just one point. Hanson hit a pair of free throws with 48 seconds on the clock to make it 66-63, but Melrose answered with a bucket at 23 seconds to make it 66-65.

With the shot clock off, Melrose was forced to foul with 19 seconds left. Asmus knocked down two clutch free throws to make it 68-65. The Dutchmen had one last chance and fired up a three at the buzzer that harmlessly clanked off the front of the rim to allow MACA to escape with a win.

Both teams shot the lights out, both shooting better than 56 percent from the floor. The Tigers really shared the ball, finishing with 20 assists on 27 made baskets. The three ball kept Melrose alive, with 10 makes from deep. 

The Tigers finished the game with four players in double figures. Huebner led the way with 19 and threw in four assists. Hanson and Jack Kehoe both added 15 points and Kehoe led the team with five assists. Riley Asmus added 13 points for the Tigers, added four assists and led the team with seven rebounds and six steals. 

WCA 65

MACA 64

It was a close game for all 36 minutes of play, but the Tigers were in front on the scoreboard in the opening minutes of the game. MACA jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the first six minutes. 

The Knights took their first lead at 15-14 off a three-pointer with nine minutes left in the half. After a couple of threes and a putback, the WCA lead grew to 24-16 with six minutes left in the half. 

The Tigers responded with eight straight points to make it 24-24 with four minutes left in the half. In the last four minutes, the Tigers never held the lead, but WCA never had more than a five point advantage.

MACA converted right before the buzzer on a putback and the Knights took a 36-33 advantage into the halftime break.

It was more back and forth to start the second half, but the Knights did not give up the lead until the Tigers hit a layup with 11:30 left in the game to make it 43-42 in favor of the Tigers. MACA then followed that up with a three pointer to go up 46-42 and forced a WCA timeout.

The lead continued to change hands for the rest of the game with neither team able to take control. 

The score was locked at 64-63 in favor of MACA for more than a minute, but the WCA broke the tie when Bye converted  a bucket in the lane over three Tiger defenders to give the Knights a 65-64 lead with five seconds to play.

The Tigers had one more chance with a three ball at the buzzer, but it harmlessly bounced off the rim, giving the Knights a one-point win on the road.

Huebner led the team with a double-double, recording 24 points and 11 rebounds. Alex Asmus chipped in with 15 points and six rebounds. Charlie Hanson scored 10 points and pulled in eight rebounds. Tyler Friesen finished with nine points and four assists. Riley Asmus had two points, seven rebounds and led the team with five assists.

It was another home game for the Tigers on Dec. 12 when they hosted the Litchfield Dragons. MACA will play a back-to-back on Thursday, December 14 and Friday, December 15 against Minnewaska and Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, both in Morris.