I usually think of softball when I think of Jackson County Central. It's a southern Minnesota school that can be counted on to have top-notch softball. Those southern Minnesota schools have been an obstacle for our Tigers, and I'm not sure why because the weather isn't that much more mild in southern Minnesota. But that's the way it is.
You can count on JCC scoring lots of points. That they did on Thursday, March 16, in an 80-71 win over MACA. So many points, it didn't matter that MACA had five players in double figures. Here's that list: Camden Arndt 21, Tate Nelson 13, Lukus Manska 12, Jaret Johnson 12 and Jacob Zosel 11. Arndt brought waves of cheers with his five 3-pointers. Manska and Johnson each made two 3's, and Nelson and Zosel each made one. Quite the attack in a losing cause.
The Huskies of JCC are now in the AA state tournament. The halftime situation had them up by eight. But they weren't able to go on cruise control for the second half. We got within three points with about eleven minutes left. That was the high water mark for us. The JCC offense was just too much.
The game's opening stages saw Arndt supply fuel as we gained a 19-16 lead. His 3's gave a feeling of real optimism among the orange and black faithful. That optimism got dashed when JCC caught fire on a 15-1 run, lifting them to a 14-point lead. "Their guys attacked the hole, and credit to them," our coach Mark Torgerson told the media.
Looking back, the 15-1 run was really the dagger that did us in. We needed Arndt to have another skein of 3-pointers. That's asking a lot. He's a sophomore with lots of fuel left in the tank.
The Huskies used fast-break layups to get a cushion on the scoreboard. We had an 8-2 run to close out the first half and keep things fairly interesting, score of 45-37. Nelson hit a '3' to make things a little more interesting. A Manska layup also furthered that end. So now the score is 60-57. The time remaining: 11:18. We would get no closer. JCC enjoyed a 10-3 run as our offense went into a drought.
One other Tiger scored in addition to the five double figures scorers cited earlier. Tim Travis scored two points. Jacob Christopher was the big gun for JCC with his 25 points. Ryan Christopher made noise with his 18 points. Nico Feroni put in 15 for the JCC cause. The rest of the list had Easton Bahr with eight points, Rudy Voss 5, Zach Bargfrede 2 and Chris Gumto 7. Jacob Christopher made three 3-pointers while Voss, Bahr and Gumto each made one.
JCC rules in Section 3AA. The Tigers have the consolation of No. 2. Our final season record: 16-13. Lots of nice memories.