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Morris girls finish seventh at Ottawa

OTTAWA – Early in the third quarter, a player from St. Francis De Sales nearly lost her lunch on the Kingman Gym floor during the Lady Pioneer-Morris Lady Redskins Silver Bracket basketball contest Saturday afternoon.

Luckily for the officials, fans and the maintenance crew, that messy situation was averted anyway.

After trailing much of the contest, Morris outscored St. Francis 11-6 in the final 4:50 to pull out a 42-41 victory to enable the Lady Redskins to finish seventh in the 27th Annual Ottawa Girls Holiday Tournament.

“We hit some pressure free throws,” noted Lady Redskins veteran coach Luke Windy, after revealing his squad was sinking just 47 percent of its attempts from the charity stripe coming into the tourney.

Morris potted nine of a dozen chances from the free throw line in the last 3:29 to improve to 4-9 on the campaign. None were bigger than a pair from sophomore guard Julie Jurasits to give the Lady Redskins a 40-39 lead with 35.1 seconds remaining and a follow-up brace by senior guard Sydney Corrigan to make it 42-39 with seven ticks to go.

“I knew I had to make them,” said Corrigan. “I knew if I make both, it would put us up by three (points) although they would still have another shot to tie. It is nerve-wracking at the line. You have so many thoughts going through your mind. I just try to spin the ball on the floor, dribble it three times and like to have the logo on my hand when I shoot.”

The Lady Redskins got balanced scoring. Jurasits, who drew a late key charge, topped the team with 14 markers. Jurasits had a dozen while freshman Leona Burton notched a double-double with 10 points to go along with the same number of rebounds.

Morris was 14-of-54 from the field. Jurasits, who was scoreless at the break, dropped in two baskets and converted 6-of-8 from the stripe in the final stanza. The Lady Redskins trailed 11-7 after the opening frame and 21-11 at half.

“Before the second half started, we were down and Mr.  Windy really didn’t know what to say to us in the locker room,” said Corrigan. “I got the team together and told them that we had to play a lot better and prove him wrong. We came out and wanted to show him that we wanted to win the game.”

Senior Isis Mance had 12 points and senior guard Franchessca Gill 11 for St. Francis, which fell to 4-8.

Morris held a 39-28 advantage on the boards. Friend latched onto 11 rebounds. Jurasits had six and junior guard Maddy Feeney five. The Lady Redskins grabbed 17 at the scoring end, leading to 10 second-chance points.

“We wanted to pressure them after falling behind at half,”  Windy said. “We wanted them to speed up their game and we did. And then we made enough free throws to pull it out.”

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