Morristown turns away GCA’s upset bid

Greenwood Christian Academy hung right with Morristown for 29-plus minutes.

But ahead by just two with 2:15 left, the Yellow Jackets found a gear that the Cougars didn’t have.

Morristown outscored Greenwood Christian 13-6 the rest of the way en route to a 59-50 victory in the Class A Edinburgh Sectional semifinals Friday night. The Yellow Jackets (17-8) advanced to tonight’s final.

“We definitely didn’t get the offensive movement we wanted,” said Cougars coach Jamie Satre, whose team finished with a 7-17 mark. “We were a little stagnant on offense. The same thing on defense. We were just not moving as well as we needed to.

“Hats off to Morristown; they did a good job. Our guys wanted it. I know they played their hardest. But we had our moments of mental lapses. We’re a young group, and we’ll be back.”

Morristown’s Eli Streeval, who finished with 11 points, hit all six of his free throw attempts in the final minute.

The game was tied 37-all after three quarters. Morristown led 28-26 at halftime.

“I thought our guys were really unselfish,” Morristown coach Scott McClelland said. “We got some easy layups. It wasn’t pretty, but it’s sectionals. We’re alive. In the fourth quarter, we did a nice job of spreading out and sharing the basketball. We did a good job of making our free throws and putting a little pressure on them.”

Morristown was 14 of 17 from the foul line.

Getting Cougars sophomore Payton Modlin in foul trouble helped as well, McClelland said. Modlin eventually fouled out with a team-high 17 points for Greenwood Christian. Sophomore Quentin Steele added 16 points.

The Yellow Jackets had only four players score, but they were all in double figures. Hayden Langkabel was high with 17, followed by Trevon Carlton’s 16 and Logan Laster’s 15.

Morristown nipped host Greenwood Christian 69-67 on Feb. 2. Satre said it was a similar game, but he said he thought his team played better in the first meeting.

“We told our kids that Greenwood Christian’s record isn’t very good, but they are in every game and every year,” McClelland said. “They were again (Friday night), but we made plays when we needed to. It’s a great win for our team.”

The Cougars lose only one senior, Camden Peters.

“He’s a big part of our program, and who we wanted to be as a program is wrapped up with him,” Satre said. “He did whatever we needed him to do. He has great character and we’re going to miss him so much more than people realize.”

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Mark Ambrogi is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.