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Basketball: Jackson Loge, Morris Area ends 22-win season for West Central Area

Morris Area will try to win a second straight section title on Thursday night, while the Knights look back on a standout season.

Roman Mihailovschi
West Central Area's Roman Mihailovschi hangs in the air before finding an open teammate during a game against Battle Lake on March 1, 2022. Mihailovschi and the Knights finished this winter season with a 22-5 record and made it to the Section 3AA North subsection championship game before falling to Morris Area and standout senior forward Jackson Loge on Saturday in Marshall. Loge had 35 points in helping the Tigers to the win.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta senior forward Jackson Loge is coming down to his final games in a standout career for the Tigers before moving on to Division II Augustana University, and he seems determined to help Morris to a second straight state tournament.

Loge scored 35 points in helping the Tigers advance to the Section 3AA title game with an 82-49 win over West Central Area on Saturday in Marshall. Loge shot 14-of-15 from the field and 7-of-10 from the free-throw line. He also added 14 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks.

“Morris and Jackson played very well,” WCA head coach Kraig Hunter said. “There is no margin for error playing a team with that much talent. We did some good things early that we were so close to capitalizing on, but if you don’t, they are a tough team to play catch-up with.”

Sophomore guard Cam Anderson led the Knights with 14 points, and juniors Cole Anderson and Jacob Strunk each added 10.

Morris (26-2) will play Redwood Valley (22-7) for the Section 3AA championship at 8 p.m. on March 17 at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.

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The Knights came into the season needing to prove they could rebuild after losing some talented seniors from a year ago. They did just that, finishing with a 22-5 overall record.

“This season has been an unbelievably enjoyable experience every step of the way with a great group of young men,” Hunter said. “I am sad it’s over, but I can’t stop thinking about how grateful I am for everything we were able to do together with this team, our great assistant coaches, awesome fans and such a supportive group of parents.”

Hunter challenged his guys before the season to take this opportunity and make their impact on the WCA program.

“Boy did they ever make an impact,” Hunter said. “They were relentless workers and played unselfish basketball. They won a conference championship, they won 22 games and in the playoffs they had to move up to Class AA, and they made it to the (subsection) championship game. They are a special group of young men and a special team.”

The Knights have two seniors to replace in Ryder Staples and Tyler Biss. Staples, who had 5 points against Morris, is a longtime starter for WCA, but the Knights will have a solid nucleus back next winter to help this build on the foundation that was set this season.

“Tyler Biss and Ryder Staples are as good of people as you’ll find,” Hunter said. “We thank them both for the impactful contributions they made to our basketball program.”

MORRIS AREA 82, WEST CENTRAL AREA 49

TOTALS - WCA - FG - 20-54; Three-point FG - 5-17; FT - 4-10; Morris Area - FG - 33-49; Three-point FG - 4-11; FT - 12-18

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WCA SCORING - Cam Anderson - 14; Cole Anderson - 10; Jacob Strunk - 10; Ryder Staples - 5; Nas Dotts - 4; Bryce Kjesbo - 3; Mitch Dewey - 2; Ben Bye - 1

MORRIS AREA SCORING - Jackson Loge - 35; Brandon Jergenson - 11; Cole Wente - 10; Toby Gonnerman - 8; Thomas Tiernan - 6; Durgin Decker - 4; Tyler Berlinger - 4; Sam Kleinwolterink - 2; Max Lietz - 2

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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