Morris sophomore guard Austin Patterson gave the Redskins a much needed jump start in the third quarter of Tuesday’s non-conference game against Oak Forest.
Morris senior guard Jason Matteson finished it off.
Trailing the entire first half while scoring just nine points, the sophomore exploded for 13 of his game-high 16 points en route to a 35-33 win over the Bengals.
“I think that when I drove and hit the layup it sparked me,” he said. “My first basket.”
That first basket came at 7:42 of the third, but it was quickly followed up by two three-point field goals by Patterson in the next two trips down the floor for the Redskins. Despite a timeout by Oak Forest,
Patterson got a steal and a layup out of the break and then buried another trey at 4:42 to give Morris a 22-15 lead and to force another Bengals timeout.
“That’s unbelievable for a sophomore,” Matteson said. “Coming into a game like that was great at a time when the team needed it.”
“It was about finding the open shot,” Patterson said. “It was really just my team finding me when I was open.”
Blumberg said that it was a breath of fresh air for a team that was missing senior forward Ben Ortiz who was out with an illness.
“He’s been pressing lately, but I think once he got that first one he loosened up. He started playing instead of thinking what a missed shot is doing to his shooting percentage,” he said of Patterson. “His shooting in that run really gave us life.”
To their credit, Oak Forest did hang tough and was down just 26-25 at the end of the third quarter. The game would go on to be tied at 29 and then 33 heading into the final minute.
“I thought the whole team executed well in the last 50 seconds,” Blumberg said. “We were able to run the clock down so that we were going to either win the game or it was going to overtime. I think their (Bengals) physical play took us out of some of our set plays there. But then at the end we asked a senior to make a play and he did.”
Matteson was 0-for-9 on the night before stepping up to hit the final basket of the game with one second remaining.
“I was frustrated. I wasn’t shooting well and I tried to take a couple of charges (on defense) that didn’t go my way,” Matteson said. “On that last shot, I was able to put it all behind me. I went out and took the last shot and I was glad to see it going in.”
“It was a big shot,” Patterson said. “I was glad to see him hit it and that we won the game.”
Leading up to that final shot, junior forward Tanner Sampson hit a big bucket with 1:09 to go to tie the game at 33.
“Tanner hit a big shot and we did have others step up,” Blumberg said.
Morris was 15-of-45 from the floor in the game overall for 33 percent. Behind Patterson, Sampson, Ned Kneller and Jake Hogan had four points each, Evan Bjelland had three points and Tony Rogalla and Matteson had two each.
Morris, who is now 13-8 on the season, was outrebounded 23-21.
Oak Forest, who is now 8-14, was 4-of-6 from the free throw line. The Redskins did not get to the free throw line once.