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Morrison tops Eastside for championship
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Morrison girls won the Morrison Ruritan Preseason Tournament on Thursday night. Pictured are team members, front row, from left, Kristina Monzon, Radyn Jones, Katrina Lusk, Camila Mendoza, Karilex Flores, Kaci Bowdoin, and Chloe Wanamaker. Back row, head coach Clara Moore, Hailey Reynolds, Harmoni Kennerly, Jayla Garibaldi, Samantha Saldana, Baylee Vincion, Marile Huff, Sasha Alvarez, Myka Garibaldi, and coach Kylie Vincion.
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Morrison’s Sasha Alverez plays tight defense on Eastside’s Sarah-Kate Winfree as she tries to advance the ball in Thursday night’s championship.
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Jayla Garibaldi was named tournament MVP following a 23-point performance in the championship.

Jayla Garibaldi brought joy to the world Thursday night, or at least joy to the Morrison basketball community.

Garibaldi was all over the court with a 23-point performance as the Lady Eagles captured a 37-31 win over Eastside in the Morrison Ruritan Preseason Tournament championship.

“Jayla had a great game, but she didn’t do it by herself,” said Morrison coach Clara Moore. “This was a team win.”

Eastside star Sarah-Kate Winfree finished with 17 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs, including 9 points in the fourth quarter when Eastside came charging back.

Eastside was clinging to a 12-11 lead at the half when Garibaldi took control in the third quarter. She scored 14 points in an avalanche of scoring to give Morrison the lead, 28-20, entering the fourth.

Winfree, who was held to a quiet 9 points by her standards entering the fourth, was able to rally Eastside to within 2 points. She drove the lane and lofted a high-arching shot over the defense to cut the Morrison lead to 30-28 with four minutes left.

The game boiled down to a free-throw shooting contest the rest of the way. Morrison shot an amazing 22 foul shots in the fourth quarter alone and made six of those free throws.

Holding a 34-28 lead with two minutes left, Morrison went to a four corners, keep-away offense to slow the pace. That 6-point margin would hold as Morrison won 37-31.

Coach Moore said the game plan was to limit Winfree as much as possible and to prevent her from dribbling to the basket for shots around the rim. 

“We got her in foul trouble and she had to sit for a couple minutes, but she’s too good of a player to sit for long,” said coach Moore. “Our 2-3 zone was able to slow her down a little bit. We wanted to make them shoot from the outside and keep them from driving.”

MORRISON Jayla Garibaldi 23, Chloe Wanamaker 7, Harmoni Kennerly 5, Samantha Saldana 2

EASTSIDE Sarah-Kate Winfree 17, Macie Bush 10, Atlanta Fults 2, Alyssa Parsley 2