Morton ‘A’ and Southern ‘B’ win boys’ basketball tournaments
The boys “A” basketball team from Morton Middle School capped the season with a hard-fought 47-39 victory over Southern Middle for the 2019 city championship. Morton also secured the award for highest GPA.
The March 7 tournament finals saw several lead changes, and the score was tied late into the fourth quarter before Morton rallied behind Anderson Jones, who finished with 11 points. Coach Jeremy Jones also commended Konlin Brown for huge defensive plays down the stretch and Todd Dumphord for crucial assists and free throws. Mason Hawkins led the Mustangs with 21 points while Will Kessinger and Nathan Sloan hit the boards effectively.
“I am super proud of this team and their unselfishness,” Coach Jones said. “They grew as teammates and put together a great stretch, knocking off Jessie Clark, E.J. Hayes, and finally Southern to capture the title.”
In the regular season, Beaumont finished atop the “A” standings and earned the No. 1 seed for the tournament, but fourth-seeded Southern upset the Colts in the semifinals. Meanwhile, third seed Morton knocked off No. 2 Hayes to advance.
Third-seeded Southern upset No. 1 Edythe J. Hayes 48-44 in the “B” championship game. The Spartans jumped out to an early lead thanks to an aggressive defense led by Trey Gillett and the shooting of Jasper Johnson. The second quarter saw five players score as they did a great job of sharing the ball. After halftime, Dawson Garth snagged some key rebounds and Andrew Witherington added five points to push Southern’s lead to 15. Hayes rallied in the fourth quarter, but the Spartans held on with sharp free-throw shooting.
“One of my favorite things about this team is how they look for each other. When we’re at our best, we get steals off our defense and pass ahead to a teammate for the easy two points,” said Coach Mark Shearer. “These kids enjoyed playing together, and that was the key to them becoming city champs.”
Hayes, the regular-season champion, defeated fifth seed LTMS to advance in the tournament. In the other semifinal, Southern crushed No. 2 Crawford.