Morgan Academy’s Trey Powe attempts to dribble past a defender for East Memorial Christian Academy in a game Friday night during Morgan’s Pepsi Classic. --Daniel Evans
Morgan Academy’s Trey Powe attempts to dribble past a defender for East Memorial Christian Academy in a game Friday night during Morgan’s Pepsi Classic. -- Daniel Evans

Morgan comes up short against EMCA

Published 12:11am Saturday, December 28, 2013

Despite taking an eight point lead into halftime, Morgan Academy couldn’t stave off a East Memorial Christian Academy comeback in the Senators’ opening game of the Morgan Pepsi Classic.

The Senators led 29-21 at the half, but the Wildcats stormed back for a 63-52 victory by staying aggressive.

“We did a good job on them in the first half to force them to shoot from the outside a little more and we just didn’t do as good a job in the second half with it,” Morgan head coach Bob Taylor said.

The Senators appeared to survive an early second half surge by the Wildcats by taking a 39-31 lead with under three minutes remaining in the third quarter, but EMCA finished the quarter on a 12-0 run to take a lead they never relinquished.

“We can’t blow an eight point lead at the half and do what we did,” Taylor said. “They really didn’t do anything differently than what they did in the first half. We have to continue to improve against good basketball teams and they are a quality club.”

The teams met one week ago at EMCA and the Wildcats blew out the Senators 79-48, so Friday night’s game was a completely different result from each side than in their previous meeting.

“Morgan was definitely a different team from last game to this game,” EMCA head coach Brad Porter said. “They didn’t make as many shots but they played like this was their home floor. They gave us fits. No doubt about that.”

The Senators stormed out of the gate and did not trail in the first half after taking an early 6-5 first quarter lead.

EMCA didn’t take the lead back until there was 1:10 remaining in the third quarter, when Austin Ventes made a layup that gave the Wildcats a 40-39 advantage.

As time ran down in the quarter, Malik Pettis added a three-pointer to push EMCA’s lead to 43-39 after three quarters.

Once EMCA took the lead, the Wildcats knew what to do with it.

The Senators did not climb within a three point deficit the entire fourth quarter, but the deficit did get to three points numerous times.

Connor Henderson led the Senators with 12 points and Mailk Pettus scored 13 for the Wildcats.

Morgan Academy plays Evangel Saturday night at 5:30 p.m. in the final game of the 2013 Morgan Pepsi Classic.

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