Morgan Academy loses to Kingwood Christian in region tourneyPublished 11:38pm Friday, February 1, 2013
The Morgan Academy Senators kept it close early, but couldn’t hold on in Friday’s 72-36 loss to the Kingwood Christian School Lions in the Class 3A Region 2 tournament semifinals.
Bob Taylor, head boys basketball coach of Morgan (21-7), said the Lions went on a run that put the Senators out of reach.
“They came out with a lot of pressure. I think they’ve won 23 games in a row. They play a lot of people, a lot of high intensity,” Taylor said. “I was afraid of them getting on a run and they got on a run, and we never could do anything to really stop it. They shot the ball extremely well and kind of took control of the ball game at that point, and we never could get back into the game.”
Kingwood jumped out to a 16-7 lead early in the first until Morgan’s Ford Manderson hit a pair of free throws and Trey Powe hit a shot in the lane to make it 16-11 with 42 seconds left in the opening period.
Morgan closed the quarter strong, as Manderson scored on a layup as time expired to make it 16-13 going into the second.
Kingwood responded by going on a 10-0 run to start the quarter that included four points by Silas Edwards and made it a 26-13 game with 4:48 left in the first half.
The Senators cut down the lead as they were in the bonus.
Connor Henderson hit four free throws and Dalton Lee added two more for the Senators to help make the score 26-19 with 3:41 left.
But Kingwood again went on run, this time scoring 12 unaswered points, including nine points by Tyler Harrell and a 3-pointer by Edwards that put the score at 38-19 with 1:43 left.
Manderson hit a pair of free throws for the Senators, but Titus Adams hit a free throw for Kingwood and Edwards added another three.
Morgan’s Zach Singh closed the second half with a layup to stop the Kingwood run, but the damage had already been done, as the Lions took a 42-23 lead into the locker room.
Morgan opened the third with a 3-pointer by Manderson, but the quarter was more of the same pressure defense that Kingwood used to build its advantage, as the Lions outscored the Senators 19-10 in the third to take a 61-33 lead into the final quarter.
Edwards had 15 points for Kingwood, while Harrell had 14 points for the Lions.
Manderson led Morgan with 10 points, while Singh had 8 points for the Senators.
The Senators, having already clinched a spot in the AISA Elite 8, will play Fort Dale Academy in the third-place game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
The game will determine which seed the Senators will be once the Elite 8 begins on Feb. 6 in Montgomery.
Kingwood will face Tuscaloosa Academy on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in the Class 3A Region 2 championship game.