Late Morris rally comes up short against Yorkville
With the Morris girls basketball team trailing Yorkville by 19 points with slightly over 13 minutes to play, things were not looking good for the hosting Redskins.
Sloppy play leading to countless turnovers in the first half put Morris in a deep hole against the Foxes in the Northern Illinois Big 12 East Conference game.
Who knew then that the game would see a complete turnaround and come down to the final possession.
In the end the Foxes would ultimately prevail, 43-41, but not without a valiant fight by the Redskins.
"I thought Morris' defense was outstanding in the second half. They were extremely physical," Yorkville coach Luke Engleheart said. "In the first half we kind of got away with getting the ball inside, but in the second half we couldn't get anything in there because Morris packed it in. Morris played really hard tonight. We got lucky."
The second half of action was the biggest difference as Morris outscored Yorkville, 12-4, in the third quarter and 16-11 in the final frame.
With five seconds to go and the visitors nursing what would be the final score, Foxes guard Corrine Rowe missed two free throws to give the Redskins a chance to tie or win the game on the offensive end. Julie Jurasits got the rebounds and dribbled the length of the floor, only to have a 10-foot runner bounce off the rim.
"Our shots started going in. In the first half we couldn't get a shot to drop to save our lives," Morris coach Kate Carey said. "Our defense also got stops in the second half. When we started attacking and stopped thinking that changed everything for us."
Morris was down 32-12 with 5:11 left to go in the third quarter when the Redskins made a run that took the game down to the wire. Ashley Bojovic got things going for Morris with a basket that started a 12-0 run. In that span, Jurasits, Emily Burling, Alex Kjellesvik, Jessica Ponce and Leona Burton scored to have Morris trailing, 32-25, by the quarters end.
And the game was within reach.
Down the stretch, a Katie Friend basket got Morris to within 36-34, and another Friend hoop made it 38-36. Friend also hit a 3-pointer to make it 40-39, but Yorkville pulled it out in the end.
"I told the girls that it was their best comeback ever," Carey said. "They played with a lot of heart and came back from a pretty deep hole. At halftime it kind of looked hopeless and they had their heads down. That's what I wanted to see in the second half and that's what I got."