Having captured a first in the recent Jingle Bell championship, the weary Morrison Eagles flew into Charlie Dalton Gym ready for another battle on the hardwood.
The Eagles fell in the finals of Thursday night’s Masonic Lodge tournament to Avery Trace, 47-25. Morrison claimed the silver medal and had two all-tournament players, Rylan Holder and Kason Holder.
During basketball instruction, a coach might show his players a regulation hoop can allow two basketballs to travel through simultaneously. The Eagles had trouble getting one ball to fall as they gave a gritty, determined effort, but could not overcome a poor shooting performance.
The two all-tournament players for Morrison usually score in abundance, but at the half Thursday the score was 30-10. Throwing bricks, circling the drain, coughing out the ball, and more moves that would have Newton scratching his head served to frustrate the very good, and very fundamental Eagle team.
“We were really tired from playing back to back the last two weeks,” said Morrison coach Kyle Cannon. “I’m really proud of the fact there was no quit in the team. They fought four tough quarters. There was no specific errors we were making that we didn’t adjust to, we just had a really bad night.”
It was a war of attrition, as the Raiders took away wayward passes, forced turnovers and recovered rebounds off shots Morrison usually makes the second time if not the first. Not so Thursday and the Raiders were not lacking in rebounding strength.
From Avery Trace’s standpoint, the Eagles loss was Avery Trace’s game. Even after the fourth quarter was well under way, the bench had a good game as well with passes going through the paint with precision.
Rylan Holder headed up the scoring for Morrison with 10 total points, Kason Holder 7, Will Hyder and Brayden Hollis each hit for 3 points, and Dominique Betencourt and Dawson Waldron were both good for 1 point.
The Eagles can have a few rest days before they play host to Irving College on Monday, Jan. 2, at 6 p.m.