MORRIS – When the week started, the Morris boys basketball team was staring at four games.
After Tuesday’s 41-33 win over Dwight at home, the Redskins are halfway done with their busy week, and they have won both games so far this week. The Tuesday win gives the Redskins a 10-13 record overall.
“During a week when we have four games, winning the first two is as good as we could hope,” Morris coach Joe Blumberg said.
The Redskins, who host Sterling in Northern Illinois Big 12 play Friday before traveling to Indian Creek on Saturday, had played Friday and Saturday last week as well, so, coupled with Monday’s game at LaSalle-Peru, which Morris won, 54-51, they had played four games in five days.
“We’ve played a lot lately, but pretty much every team in the state is in the same boat,” Blumberg said. “Everyone lost some games last week when it was so cold out.”
Morris was anything but cold in the early going, as Jack Walker and Jacob Overbeck each hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter and Logan Edwards scored on a putback at the buzzer to give the Redskins a 14-6 lead at the end of the period.
The second quarter saw Morris put a lineup of five fresh players in, and the quintet of Evan Briones, Barry Amiano, Colin Cummings, Colby Kingsbury and Andrew Hipes maintained the lead for the first half of the quarter.
“This was a night we wanted to make sure we got everyone some good minutes,” Blumberg said. “That unit did a good job when they were in there. They had a real good possession on offense at the start of the quarter. The shot didn’t go in, but they ran the offense well and got a good shot.”
Dwight pulled to within 16-12 after Lane Thompson’s third basket of the quarter, but Morris’ Chatten Dryfhout scored the final three points of the quarter on a free throw and a basket off a feed by Cummings to put the Redskins ahead, 19-12, at halftime.
Dwight began a comeback attempt in the third quarter, scoring the first two baskets, one each by Dakota Wahl and Dane Rodoski, to pull to within 19-16. Edwards (6 points) made a pair of free throws for Morris before Cal Schultz hit a floater in the lane for Dwight. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Overbeck and Cummings, each of whom had nine points, put Morris ahead, 27-18. Dwight answered with back-to-back treys by Logan Graham and Colton Holm to make it 27-24. Cummings then scored off an assist from Overbeck before Holm hit another 3-pointer to pull Dwight to within 29-27 entering the fourth quarter.
Morris’ defense took over on the fourth, though, as the Redskins did not allow a point until free throw by Thompson with 2:23 to play. By that time, baskets in the lane by Walker and Ryan Lain, then a baseline drive for a reverse layup by Edwards, had put Morris ahead, 35-27. After Thompson’s free throw, Lain scored on a putback and Cummings scored off an assist from Walker to give Morris a 39-28 lead.
Wahl hit a 3-pointer for Dwight before Hipes capped Morris’ scoring with a basket underneath off a feed from Overbeck.
Overbeck led Morris in rebounds with 11, while Dryfhout had seven. Cummings and Edwards each had five boards as the Redskins held a 33-22 rebounding advantage.
“Ryan Lain and Logan Edwards had big buckets for us in the fourth quarter,” Blumberg said. “We rebounded well, especially on the defensive end. They [Dwight] didn’t get many second chances.”
Morris won the sophomore game, 45-28, to improve to 14-9 on the season. Jace Pruim led the Redskins with 10 points, while Parker Skubic scored nine points and Patrick McPherson had eight points and nine rebounds.