Devil Dogs run away from Neosho
After suffering two straight tough losses in the Neosho Holiday Tournament, the Morrilton Devil Dogs took out their frustration.
At the brunt of the payback was Neosho, as Morrilton rolled to a 67-50 victory Friday morning in the consolation bracket of the 53rd Annual Neosho Holiday tournament.
The Devil Dogs were in a tight game against East Newton in the opening round, but lost in the final minutes. On Thursday, Morrillton lost in overtime to Sedalia Smith-Cotton.
Morrilton coach Trent Tipton was pleased with how his team played down the stretch to pull out the win, hopefully foreshadowing things to come later.
“In our league its, very competitive league and I don’t think team will be that much better than each other every night,” said Tipton. “If you have a chance to take a team away you need to take advantage of it.
“This bunch, I really felt like we were getting better coming into the tournament,” said Tipton. “We played OK, especially against East Newton. They caused us match up problems defensively. Yesterday, I didn’t feel like we executed well and couldn’t make anything. We have struggled time to time scoring basket and when you do that, you put a lot of pressure on your defense.”
Like most games in this tournament for them, the Devil Dogs were locked in a tight game from the start.
The Wildcats (1-10) fell behind early, but pulled within five points, 17-12, after a 3-pointer by Nick Morrison early in the second quarter.
That was the start of four straight possessions ending in 3-pointers. Freddy Roseburrow and No. 34 buried treys for Morrilton, while Morrison and Alex Wise hit 3-pointers for Neosho. Morillton held a 23-15 lead after its last 3-pointer.
Neosho pulled six twice in the second quarter, getting that deficit after a 3-pointer by Andere Edward with 35 seconds left made it 28-22 going into half.
Preston Hill did all he could to help the Devil Dogs (5-7) pull away for good in the third quarter.
Hill scored on three straight possessions, capping his personal 6-0 run with a thunderous one-handed dunk on a play where he dribbled right up the middle of the court and wasn’t stopped. Hill had a pair of dunks in the run and gave Morrilton — a school in the South Conway School District — a 34-24 advantage.
“We played pretty well, we played a lot better today,” said Neosho coach Jonathan Wengert. “When we ran our offense we got good looks and finished those looks today.
Unfortunately when we got the same looks in the second half we didn’t capitalize on those and they were able to pull away to take control of the game.”
The Wildcats pulled within seven points late in the third quarter after consecutive baskets by Anthony Westfield and Colton Frencken, making it 37-30 with 2:53 to play.
Going into the final stanza, the Devil Dogs led 42-32.
Morrilton held a lead throughout the fourth quarter and put the game away for good thanks to a nice run early in the quarter. The Wildcats had pulled within six points, 44-38, after a trey by Wise.
The next three baskets by Morrilton were 3-pointers Roseburrow and two from Ryan Duncan, to help make it a 13-point game in a matter of minutes and secured the victory.
“We lost site of a couple shooters there in the fourth quarter,” said Wengert. “We were trying to do, we wanted to guard the (Preston) Hill kid and guard their guard, No. 31 (Trevell Sandidge) and make the other guys score against us. No. 20 (Ryan Duncan) stepped up and hit a couple shots to give them the lead and Hill did a nice job of creating on second chances. Unfortunately we lost composure for a couple minutes and not handling the press and that lead to baskets.”
Roseburrow scored 16 points, while Hill led the team in scoring with 18 points.
As a team, Morrilton, connected on 10 3-pointers in the game.
“I think we can shoot the three, I don’t know if we can make it,” said Tipton. “I think we got some guys who can make it. We definitely need to because we don’t score very well inside.”
Neosho received 14 points from Wise and 10 from Westfield.
Morrilton plays the winner of McDonald County and Monett at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the middle school in the 13th place game.
Neosho will play the loser of McDonald County and Monett at 9 a.m. Saturday at the middle school in the 15th place game.
NEOSHO (50) — Matt Weathers 4, Andere Edward 3, Alex Wise 14, Nick Morrison 5, Chris Bevis 6, Anthony Westfield 10, Colton Frencken 4, Coty Allen.
MORRILTON (67) — Freddy Roseburrow 16, Ryan Duncan 9, Maurice Templeton 3, Preston Hill 18, Matt Franklin 0, Trevor Payne 0, Trevell Sandidge 2, Robbie Wilkerson 4, Terrance Heaggans 3, Montel McKey 0, Darryl McDaniel 3, Adam Rasheed 6, Nate Holmes 1, DeAndre Moore 2.
Neosho Daily News