Morris falls to Sycamore, gets title share
SYCAMORE – For 32 minutes Morris couldn’t figure out Sycamore’s 2-3 zone.
The Redskins, bothered all night by Sycamore’s energy, shot only 2 of 19 from the 3-point line and trouble with turnovers in a 60-30 loss on the road.
The Redskins, who finished the Northern Illinois Big 12 East schedule with a 7-3 record, shared the conference title with Kaneland and Sycamore. Kaneland beat DeKalb, 57-55, on Friday night to also claim a share of the championship.
“They have so many shooters and run so many sets and execute so well offensively,” Sycamore coach Andrew Stacy said, “we thought [the 2-3 zone] could at least limit some of the things they want to do and these guys did a great job.”
Morris started the game with four consecutive turnovers, but found some success getting the ball inside to David Kneller, who scored Morris’ first six points of the game. However, the Redskins’ carelessness with the ball continued. For the first half, Morris finished with barely more shots attempted (14) than turnovers (12).
Sycamore took advantage even after leading scorer Devin Mottet picked up his second foul late in the first quarter. The Spartans started the second quarter on a 15-2 run, including two 3-pointers from Jake Winters and back-to-back driving layups from Ben Niemann and Mark Skelley.
A putback from Niemann off his own miss increased Sycamore’s lead to 17 and the Spartans led, 27-14, at the half.
The Spartans’ hot shooting continued in the second half as Sycamore knocked down another three 3-pointers in the third quarter, part of a 19-0 run over five minutes that stretched the Sycamore lead from 11 to 30.
Morris was led by Kneller’s 10 points. Austin Patterson also had seven points in the loss.
Morris will start postseason play on Tuesday in the Class 3A Prairie Central Regional semifinals against the winner of Monday’s matchup between Herscher and Prairie Central.