Morgan ends Eagles#039; season

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Morgan Academy coach David Walker doesn't profess to have a flashy basketball team, but somehow he gets the wins where they count.

The Senators entered the opening round of the Class AAA West Area 4 tournament with a 7-11 record, but the No. 1 seed in the tournament because his team won the games that counted in area play.

Despite committing 30 turnovers in the nightcap of the opening round of the boys and girls tournament, Morgan Academy outscored host Fort Dale 10-0 in the last three minutes of the game to come away with a 31-25 victory to earn a spot in the tournament finals on Friday.

&#8220You can't come to Fort Dale and expect to win, especially in front of a huge crowd like they have,” Walker said. &#8220I know they were without one of their starters, but they played so hard. And we were without a starter, and our kids played their hearts out, too. It was a dogfight out there.”

Fort Dale had its own problems with turnovers, too. The Eagles committed 23 miscues, which coach Reggie Mantooth said was too much to overcome.

&#8220You can't turn the ball over that many times and expect to win,” he said. &#8220The turnovers really hurt us tonight.”

Fort Dale led through much of the game. The Eagles, which end the season with a 7-17 mark, led 16-13 at intermission and continued to nurse a lead until the closing seconds of the third period.

Morgan took its first lead of the game with 12 seconds left in the game when Rett Rivers drained two free throws to give the Senators a 21-20 advantage heading into the final period.

Fort Dale then regained the lead with 6:09 left to play on a Casey Weston jumper and continued to lead until the three minute mark of the game.

From there, the Eagles could not buy a basket as Morgan closed out the game with a 10-0 run to advance to the tournament final to face Monroe Academy on Friday. Results from the game were not available by presstime on Friday.

By advancing to the tournament final, Morgan also earns a trip to the regional tournament next week at Huntingdon College.

John Porter led Morgan with nine points, while Will Summerline and Rivers chipped in six points each.

Weston paced the Eagles with 12 points, while Brady Newton finished with six.