BALDWIN — Morgan City boys and girls won their contests at the St. Mary Parish hoops jamboree Thursday in different fashions.
While the Morgan City boys jumped out early and coasted to a 47-23 lead against Berwick, the Berwick girls gave Morgan City all it could handle, but Morgan City was able to make a first-half run stand in a 33-23 win.
“We had a good game,” Morgan City coach Aaron Meyer said. “We played well … We got some good play from some freshmen. (I) was able to get everybody in the game.”
For the first half of the first period of play, both teams exchanged leads as neither team could generate many points.
Late in the first half, with the game tied at 8, Morgan City got things going as it went on a 12-6 run to end the half and take a 20-14 lead into the abbreviated half (the games consisted of two, 10-minute halves with a 5-minute break in between).
Morgan City’s run began after Elicia Dorsey sank the second of two free throws for a 9-8 Morgan City advantage with 3:41 remaining.
Consecutive baskets by Casey Chenevert, the second on a layup, put Morgan City ahead, 13-10.
Berwick’s Abigail Ohlin sank two free throws to cut the Morgan City advantage to 13-10, but Morgan City put up three more baskets to extend its lead to 19-10.
Meya Morse’s free throw with 28.5 seconds left upped Morgan City’s advantage to 20-10, but Berwick scored four points in the remainder of the first half, a basket by Khadijah Johnson when she received an inbound pass underneath the basket from Ohlin and a Berwick free throw.
“That run definitely did help put us over the edge and (was) able to help us get to a point where we were able to put a lot more kids in the game and do some different things as far as defensively,” Meyer said.
In the second half, Morgan City held Berwick scoreless for the first 3:45 of the game before Johnson broke the drought connecting on the first of two free throws.
However, within the frame, Berwick only gave up one basket, a bucket by Casey Chenevert with about 8:38 remaining in the period.
Berwick further cut into the lead at 22-18 via basket by Johnson off an inbound pass and the second of two free throws with 4:39 left.
However, that was as close as Berwick would get the remainder of the contest as Morgan City outscored it, 11-5, the remainder of the contest to pull out the victory.
Berwick was hurt badly in the contest by free throw shooting as the Lady Panthers connected on just 11 of 28 free throws.
“We missed some things that I think with a little practice, we’ll do a lot better,” said Berwick coach Andy Walker, who said his squad has had limited practice due to team members participating in the state volleyball playoffs.
Chenevert led Morgan City with 16 points, while May Grogan, Morse and Dwanna Lebeau added four apiece.
Johnson led Berwick with nine points, while Hayley Girard added seven.
Berwick will open its regular season Monday in the Catholic High-New Iberia Tournament, while Morgan City will begin its season Tuesday, also on the road, when it takes on Thibodaux at 5:30 p.m.
Morgan City 47,
Berwick struggled to keep pace with Morgan City, who opened the game on a 9-2 run within the first four minutes en route to the jamboree win.
After Berwick had cut the Morgan City advantage to 3-2, Morgan City scored the next eight points, four of those by Tyrin Watts.
Berwick finally broke the run with a free throw, and following a Brannon Randle lay-in under the basket, Berwick responded with another basket, this one by Nicholas Osburn to cut the Morgan City advantage to 13-5.
However, the Panthers could get no closer the remainder of the game as Morgan City used a 14-5 run to close the half for a 27-10 halftime advantage.
“I thought that we executed really well,” Morgan City coach Jeremy Whittingon said.
However, Whittington said his squad must improve on the 17 missed layups it had in 20 minutes of action, something he said could hurt them during the season.
Despite the loss, Berwick did get some solid play in the second half as it forced a Morgan City turnover and converted a layup on the other end, while Palmer Cox converted back-to-back baskets, a three-pointers and a two-point basket to cut the Morgan City advantage to 35-17.
Walker, who also coaches the Berwick boys, said his squad is still learning his “style of basketball. We’re still in the learning process. … (They have) only had about four or five practices. I think we showed a lot of room for growth. I think we’ll come out a lot stronger as the season goes on.”
Eric Walker led Morgan City with 11 points, while Randle and Brady Fryou added eight points apiece. Other Morgan City scorers included Malcolm Watkins and Watts, six points apiece and Jalen Jones, five points.
“It was fun. The guys got to play, both groups (football and non-football). … I thought both teams were strong defensively when we got in the half-court defensive set,” Whittington said. “(There’s) some stuff we’ve got to work on full court but we just haven’t had enough practice with each other yet (football and non-football players). But I was impressed with their effort. They played hard. A lot of times you worry.”
Osburn led Berwick with six points, while Cox added five points.
Morgan City will open its season Monday in the Morgan City Tiger Classic at 7 p.m. at Morgan City High School. Besides the season opener, the game is significant as a win would give Morgan City coach Jeremy Whittington his 200th head coaching victory.
Berwick will open its season Monday in the Ascension Episcopal Tournament.
Some Berwick players could not be identified in this story because no roster was available with complete names.