Morrison lived up to the hype that surrounded the Eagles in the second round of the Morrison Ruritan Tournament on Friday night. The Eagles returned several players from last year’s state runner-up team and they soared away early in the 47-22 win over the Dibrell Wildcats.
Irving Espinoza led all scorers with a game-high 18 points. Espinoza was quick to the ball and at times he made it look easy. Many of his 18 were made underneath the basket off turnovers.
Dibrell kept it close until midway through the first. It didn’t take long for Morrison to figure out where the ball was going and once the Eagles did, it was off to the races. The Eagle defense covered the floor and applied relentless pressure on the ball.
Turnover after turnover allowed Morrison to score at will. The Eagles took a commanding 19-2 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Morrison’s pursuit of the ball never stops and all five players were in the air for a rebound after a missed shot. Quick hands and feet of the Eagle defense created havoc on the floor and not only in the first quarter, but all four quarters.
Espinoza dropped eight of his 18 in the opening period and Keegan Scott buried a couple of short jumpers and also hit the bottom on a deep 3-point shot as well.
For Dibrell, Adrik Balderas scored as he broke free and made his way through the full-court pressure for his first two points.
The points continued to fall for Morrison in the second quarter. Brothers, Ryland and Kasen Holder combined for eight of the 10 second-quarter points for the Eagles just before the half.
For Dibrell, it was more Balderas as he again led the Dibrell offense for the second straight quarter. Matthew Vandagriff added a free throw as the half drew to a close and the Wildcats trailed 29-8.
Morrison is deep and even though the bench players were in the game, the pursuit of the ball never slowed. Espinoza dropped in his final eight points in the third before he headed to the bench.
In the end, it was all Morrison offense and not enough Dibrell defense to stop the Eagles from taking flight. The Eagles defeated the Wildcats by a final score of 47-22 to advance into the championship game with results not available at press time.
Irving Espinoza 18, Keegan Scott 9, Kasen Holder 8, Ryland Holder 8, Dawson Waldron 3, Kolby Newby 3
Adrik Balderas 9, Matthew Vandagriff 6, Caden Davis 3, Wesley Wilmoth 2, Alden Lawrence 2