COAL CITY – About halfway through the first quarter of Tuesday’s nonconference basketball game between Morris and Coal City and with the score tied somewhere near tip-off temperature, two things happened you normally don’t see in a high school game – a dunk and a four-point play.
Otherwise, the game turned out to be a commonplace this year – the Redskins and Coalers meeting on the basketball court. Playing for the third time this season after previously splitting the first two encounters, the Redskins defeated the Coalers, 50-30.
Neither team got off to a particularly hot start in the contest and a cold stretch saw the game tied at six-all when Coal City’s 6-foot-8 center Nick Peters got a breakaway dunk. That came at 1:47 but just 40 seconds later, Morris junior guard Austin Patterson converted a four-point play to help give the Redskins a lead they would not again relinquish.
“It seems like Peters dunks every time we play them so we kept that streak alive,” Morris coach Joe Blumberg said. “That is an odd combination. As much as anything, that might be cabin fever. Two days of Netflix and video games and not being able to practice and not getting the guys to move around a little bit. It was a bit of a sluggish start for both teams.”
After the Peters dunk, Patterson (13 points) recorded his first varsity four-point play to make it a 10-8 lead for Morris.
“That’s the first time I have ever gotten a four-point play,” Patterson said. “I think it was Tanner [Sampson] who passed it to me and as I shot it I saw two guys coming out at me. After that I felt somebody hit my face. I really didn’t see the ball go in.”
Morris would lead 14-8 at the end of the first quarter and then the Redskins went up 28-17 by halftime. By the conclusion of the third quarter, Morris was up 39-23.
“That scares me a little,” Blumberg said of the Coalers scoring just 30 points in the game. “We may see them again in March and I know that offensively they are better than that. The shots just didn’t go tonight. It’s rare that we will hold Peters down that much [nine points]. But I thought our zone was effective.”
Coal City coach Brad Boresi said he was simply not happy with the defensive effort on Tuesday.
“[Morris] gave a similar look against us at the Plano Tournament as they did tonight,” he said. “I know offensively we only scored 30 points, but I am more disappointed with our defensive effort the last four games. It’s been pretty poor. We’ve worked on it and done everything we can, but for some reason can’t do it in a game. The better team tonight definitely won.”
Twelve different players for Morris scored in the contest, led by the 13 points from Patterson.