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Second half rally falls short for Morgan Senators

After a furious second half rally that saw the Morgan Academy Senators pull even with Glenwood at 34-34 on a Heath Harrelson jumper with 3:15 remaining in the game, the Gators got a three-point bucket and a layup following a Morgan turnover to pull out a hard fought 46-37 win.

“I think this was the best match up in the first round,” said Glenwood head coach Dusty Perdue. “It could have gone either way.”

After a close first quarter that ended with a two-point lead for Morgan, the Gators (14-17) went on a 14-4 run in the second quarter to take a 21-13 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Morgan (18-10) turned its defense up in the third and pulled to within one point before the Gators, who shot 43 percent from the floor for the game, found the range to end the third with a 6-point lead.

“We just couldn’t put them away,” said Morgan head coach Lee Tate of the Gators, who he said got a slow start on the season. “We knew they had good athletes and they just got better and better. They belong here.”

Morgan couldn’t find the range in the game shooting just 29 percent going 14-of-48 from the floor and 1-of-17 from three-point range. They also suffered on the inside when Sam Tate fouled out in the second half.

“One of our main advantages was his height so we really miss him when he’s not in there,” Lee Tate said. “But our guys did pretty well without him and we got some good play from our bench.”

Dudley Taylor led the Gators with 10-points while Nehemiah Horace and Mathew Tooker each scored nine points.

Lee and Harrelson led the Morgan attack with 12-points each with Tate scoring seven and Gilmer, King and Coal Brown each adding two points.

Defensively, Brown led with nine rebounds and two steals with Lee pulling down seven boards and two steals.

This was the last game for seniors Daniel Lee, Harrelson, Tate, Jacob King and Jay Gilmer, and Lee Tate said they have been an asset to Morgan Academy and its athletic program.

“I’ve know most of these boys since they were infants,” he said. “They’ve grown in to fine young men and I hope I live long enough to see what God does with them.”