Morrison head coach Kyle Cannon likes to take his high-energy offense out of county from time to time and on Tuesday night the Eagles landed in White County. It was a very defensive game by both teams and after the final buzzer sounded Morrison defeated White County Middle by a final score of 22-20.
If not for the speed and agility of Irving Espinoza, the result could have been very different. Espinoza led the Eagles and scored a game-high 17 points for Morrison.
The Eagle offense remained grounded throughout the first half and Morrison could not get the looks and quickly fell off the pace. The Morrison defense made the Warriors work hard for their points in the first quarter.
Warriors Trey Crockett and Masyn Winningham got inside the Eagle defense for a pair of baskets. Austin Burchett also connected outside the paint. The Warriors shot 4-of-5 from the free-throw line and quickly took a 10-3 lead.
The only offense for Morrison in the first was a lone 3-point shot by Espinoza.
It only got slightly better for the Morrison offense in the second quarter. It was Espinoza again who dropped in a pair of shots for the only four points of the quarter.
White County continued its pressure defense and the offense kept up its pace on the other end. Winningham added four more points for the Warriors. Dustin Guy scored his only two points of the game in the second quarter. The Eagles were stunned at the half and trailed 18-7.
The second half was a complete opposite for Morrison. The Eagles came out and took flight almost immediately. Espinoza was determined to lead his Eagles in the comeback. He connected two times from deep behind the arch for six of his 17 points after the half. Ryland Holder broke free from the defense and got into the scorebook with his only three points.
The defensive pressure in the second half was relentless and the Eagles covered the floor at any and all cost. The Warrior offense had its hands tied at every turn. Winningham posted the only two points of the quarter and after three quarters Morrison pulled to within one at 20-19.
It was a defensive standoff in the fourth quarter and each team traded blows with the other. For Morrison, Kasen Holder who had gone scoreless the previous three quarters found his way past the defense and scored. His only two points of the game became very critical as time ticked off the clock.
Espinoza was fouled and he connected on 1-of-2 shots from the line. It was all the Eagles needed.
The Eagle defense cut off the flow of offense by the Warriors and White County did not have a single shot fall through the entire fourth quarter. When time expired Morrison flew away with a 22-20 win over White County Middle.
EAGLE SCORING – Irving Espinoza 17, Rylan Holder 3, Kasen Holder 2
WARRIOR SCORING – Masyn Winningham 10, Trey Crockett 6, Austin Burchett 2, Dustin Guy 2