Mark Morris 79, Tumwater 74
(Tumwater, WA) In December the majority of basketball games are non-league and you generally have two schools of thought. A team that has struggled and trying to turn things around may schedule teams they believe they can beat or certainly compete with trying to get some wins and trying to coach teams that havn’t won, how to win. The flip side is a team looking not for wins but for competition. Coaches have been successful and they are trying to take the next step or get to the next level (those are the top 2 cliches I could come up with on short notice.)
Mark Morris and Tumwater fall into that 2nd category as both have faced each other the past 2 seasons for the District Championship. There is no question these 2 teams know how to win but they want to sharpen their edge and looking at their respective non-league schedules you see both teams are not shying away from sturdy competition which set up a great match-up that was supposed to played last Friday but was moved due to the snow.
We figured it would be close and after 1 quarter you couldn’t get much tighter as both teams went to their bench with 20 points. The Monarchs jumped out to an 8-2 lead but Tumwater would scratch back and take their 1st lead with 4:05 to play on an Andrew May 2 point shot. This would be the 1st of about 20 lead changes in this contest.
Going into the 2nd quarter Tumwater would assert themselves matching their 1st quarter output with another 20
spot while the Monarchs struggled offensively in the final 4 minutes prior to the break scoring only on a Tyler Berger jumper. Tumwater’s Thomas Drayton closed out the scoring in the 1st half with just 2 seconds to play and scored 10 of his 16 in the 1st half and Tumwater led 40-30 at the break.
In the 3rd quarter Mark Morris would come storming back led by Senior Will Burghardt. Burghardt finished the night with a game high 35 and with chisel the 10 point lead down to 4 then 2 and then Burghardt fed Kyle Mathews a late pass and he laid it in as time expired and the Monarchs completed the comeback to take the lead heading into the 4th quarter 53-51. This play would also earn our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game.
The 4th quarter would be a head and head race down the stretch with both teams having opportunities to take control. With 3:28 to play Tumwater’s Cade Otton hit 1 of 2 from the free throw line tying the game 66-66. Mark Morris would go on a 6-0 run led by Burghardt’s 2 point bucket with a plus one to make it 72-66.
12-seconds later Tumwater’s May cut that lead in half with a shot from behind the arc. Brian Marty for the T-Birds cut the lead to 1 when Tyler Berger came through with a huge shot with 22-seconds to play to push the Monarch lead to 75-71. Just 3 seconds later with 19 to play Marty hit a shot and was fouled and Tumwater was down by 1 75-74.
The final sequence gave the T-Birds a chance after Mathews hit a lay-in to put MM up 77-74, Marty quickly came down the floor and launched a 3 from the top of the key but came up short, Connor Stange rebounded and was fouled for Mark Morris and hit the final 2 free throws for the last 2 points.
Mark Morris is now 2-1 while Tumwater drops to 1-3. Our Tommy Lowe of Greene Realty Players of the Game went to the Monarchs’ Will Burghardt and Tumwater’s Brian Marty.
Mark Morris: Will Burghardt 35, Connor Stange 12, Tyler Berger 12, Kyle Mathews 6, Gage Hendricksen 6, Mason Baker 3, Dawson Fritz 3, Garrett Berger 2
Tumwater: Brian Marty 23, Thomas Drayton 16, Andrew May 10, CJ Geathers 10, Cade Otton 8, Matthew Brown 3, Weston Weller 2, Jack Koelsch 2