MORRIS – Morris led for more than three full quarters Monday, but Lincoln-Way West rallied to win 56-53 at the Class 3A Morris girls basketball Regional.
An Alex Kjellesvik 3-pointer began the fourth quarter for Morris, but the Warriors scored 14 of the next 18 points to draw even at 49 for the first time since it was 0-0 with 2:36 to play. After two free throws from Katie Friend temporarily restored the lead to Morris, Courtney O’Donnell made a short basket on the other end for Lincoln-Way West.
The Warriors then took their first lead on a Kaitlyn Matthews 3-pointer with 1:33 to play. Thirty-two seconds later, a technical foul was Friend’s fifth personal of the game. Though Lincoln-Way West missed the ensuing free throws, Matthews did not miss either when Morris was forced to foul her seconds later, and after a Julie Jurasits basket got Morris within three, it missed on a pair of late 3-pointers.
Morris began the game on an 8-0 run fueled by 3-poiners from Jessica Ponce and Jurasits. Lincoln-Way West closed the gap to 9-5 by the end of the first quarter, getting three of its points from Dani Morgan.
Foul trouble was the theme of the second quarter, as by halftime, the teams had combined for 25 fouls and attempted 27 free throws.
Jurasits had two fouls by late in the first quarter, but coach Kate Carey sent her back out to begin the second, and the move paid off. Jurasits scored eight points during the second quarter, and Jade Fisher and Katie Friend hit 3s as Morris led by as many as 14 points late in the half. The Warriors ended the half on a 5-0 run, with Stephanie McDonald contributing a three-point play, to draw within 31-22.
Lincoln-Way West run extended into the third quarter, with the Warriors scoring the first five points and Burton picking up her fourth foul in the process. But while Lincoln-Way West got within four points of the lead early in the third and again late, Morris responded both times with mini-runs and closed the quarter ahead 43-35.