Morgan girls rally, but Russell Christian wins with late run

Published 8:58 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Russell Christian fended off a late Morgan Academy (0-3) comeback to beat the Senators 40-36 Tuesday in the third-place game of the Morgan Academy Tournament.

Morgan rallied to tie the game with two jump shots by Regan Hewitt and two free throws by Abigail Lane. Russell Christian’s Olivia Faulkner answered with back to back shots to put the Warriors up five.

Faulkner’s first shot came off an offensive rebound — a recurring theme throughout the day.

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“It got us in the second quarter, where people stopped blocking out all together and stopped rebounding,” said Morgan Academy coach Kayla Mason. “If you don’t block out and rebound, they get more chances and of course, the more chances you get, the more chances you are going to score. You’ve got to rebound and hold on to the basketball.”

The Senators also left chances to score at the free throw line. Morgan went 13-for-27 from the charity stripe.

“It doesn’t always boil down to free throws, but we lost by six and we missed 14 free throws, so if you make 50 percent of the ones you miss it’s real close,” Mason said.

Ellie Adams led the Senators in scoring with 11 points and Hewitt chipped in another 9. The Senators trailed most of the game after surrendering a 10-4 run in the second and third quarter. Morgan closed the gap within one on consecutive shots from Hewitt, bringing the Senators within 19-18.

Russell made a shot to put the Warriors back up four and Russell Christian held a 24-21 lead after three quarters. Madison Adams made a jump shot to put Russell up five.

Lane had a 3-point play with 7:13 left in the fourth quarter to pull the Senators within 26-24 and the teams traded baskets until Morgan tied the game on two free throws with 2:41 left.

Faulkner led all scorers with 18 points and 12 of those came in the second half, but her biggest baskets came during Russell’s 5-0 run to take a 35-30 lead.

The Senators got within three on a jump shot from Faith Lane.

Trinity Anderson made a shot to put the Warriors back up five and Faulkner put the game away with a coast to coast layup in the final seconds.