Morris split a boys-girls varsity basketball doubleheader with Rochelle Friday night on its home floor, losing 49-36 in the girls game and winning 76-44 in the boys game.
In the boys game, Morris (3-1, 1-0 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) needed nearly three minutes to score, but once it started, it rarely stopped. The Redskins went from down 3-0 to to ahead 15-3 in just over four minutes. Rochelle was able to keep it a 15-7 game after one quarter and 36-21 at halftime, even though it did not go to the free-throw line, where the Redskins scored 12 points, once in the first half.
Morris extended its lead to 57-37 by the end of the third quarter and kept pulling away largely because it shot 15 for 26 in the second half.
“We’ve got more guard quickness and I think we have more guard depth than we’ve had, and we’re pressing a little bit more, but [the first-half pace is] just not something we’re comfortable to play 32 minutes, especially with the lead,” Morris boys basketball coach Joe Blumberg said. “We talked in the second half about lengthening some possessions.”
Evan Bjelland scored a game-high 21 points for Morris, which got 15 points from Jake Walker and 12 points from Austin Patterson. Patterson added 11 rebounds.
“They play a fast-paced game,” Bjelland said of the Hubs. “We didn’t really wanna match them, but kind of slow them down, because we knew they were gonna get back and run, so we just tried to get back on defense.”
The Morris girls (3-3, 0-1) led 23-22 at halftime. To that point, the Redskins were 8 for 17 on 2-pointers and had eight turnovers.
They went 6 for 21 from the field in the second half and turned the ball over 14 times. Rochelle went 18 for 39 from the field for the game, including a 10 for 19 effort during the second half.
“First half, we were able to convert a little more on offense,” Morris girls basketball coach Kate Carey said.
“We started getting a little bit scared, playing complacent, setting for the 3-point shot rather than attacking. ... The defense looked pretty good in the first half, and we kind of let up in the third quarter.”
Julie Jurasits of Morris and Lauren Murphy of Rochelle tied for the game lead in points with 17 each, but while Marin Meiners had 15 points for the Hubs, nobody else from Morris had more than six points.