MORRISON, Ill. —
The biggest concern for the Morrison Mustangs on Friday night wasn't just winning, but also winning after coming off their best performance.
Morrison did just that, especially in the first half, in a 50-36 win over Erie.
"We played Riverdale on Tuesday, and we felt like that was the best game we have played all season," said Bill Lee Greul, who scored a team-high 16 points on Friday. "We wanted to come out tonight with the mentality to play twice as hard, and I thought in the first half, we certainly did."
The Mustangs scored 30 of the 50 points in the first half alone, and committed just five fouls. They also held the Cardinals to seven points in the first quarter and the second quarter.
"We played exceptionally well in that first half; we answered the challenge there," Greul said. "We just stepped off in the second half for some reason."
Greul said there was another challenge that he wanted to accomplish, and it wasn't just on Friday's game either.
"We want to prove to Morrison that we're ready to play and that we are a good team."
On Tuesday, Morrison had a lot of balanced scoring. Nine different Mustangs found the scoresheet and one other Mustang besides Greul scored in double figures — Kaleb Church with 10 points. Mason Sitzmore came close with seven points.
Morrison coach Dave Peugh knew the opponent wasn't going to lie down after trailing 30-14 at halftime.
"They're a hard-nosed team," Peugh said. "They got after us in the second half, forcing us to make some foolish mistakes. Give them credit, they're a team who doesn't give up."
The Cardinals' resiliency concerned Peugh on film leading up to Friday's game.
"I scouted them a week ago and saw how much they refused to quit, and I was worried that our guys were going to get lackadaisical and not come to play, but both teams played very hard."
Erie started the game well, holding Morrison scoreless until Greul lit the scoreboard up first with a shot inside the paint three minutes into the game.
Greul came out to score the first eight points for the Mustangs in the second half before Church put in the final field goal of the quarter.
"I just got open and the guys found me and got me the ball," he said. "I took off after I missed my free throw (in the first quarter)."
Erie's leading scorer was Ken Cole with 11 points.
Morrison's next test comes Tuesday night against the Fulton Steamers, who lost in double overtime on Friday night.
"They're a team who can shoot one step inside the half-court line it seems like," Peugh said. "We have to be ready for them; they can shoot the ball, and we'll have to throw a lot at them defensively."
MORRISON 50, ERIE 36
ERIE — Koby Kuhnen 0 0-0 0, Nich Wildt 0 3-4 3, Kallen Jepson 1 0-0 3, Sean Maloney 2 4-5 8, Ken Cole 5 1-4 11, Owen McConnell 2 2-6 6, Vinnie Bramm 1 0-0 2, Bransen Rosenow 1 0-0 3. Totals 12 10-19 36.
MORRISON — Joey Brackemyer 1 0-0 2, Mason Sitzmore 1 5-6 7, Bill Lee Greul 8 0-1 16, Hunter Hamstra 2 2-2 6, Kaleb Church 3 4-4 10, Scott Ferry 1 0-0 2, Triston Houzenga 1 1-1 3, Kyle VanDerLeest 1 1-1 3, Anthony Tenboer 0 0-0 0, Kollin Burn 0 1-2 1, Lucas Peppers 0 0-0 0, Tom Wierenga 0 0-0 0, Kurtis Klimson 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 14-19 50.
Erie 7 7 10 12 — 36
Morrison 12 18 12 8 — 50
3-point goals — Erie 2 ( Jepson, Rosenow). Total fouls — Erie 22, Morrison 13. Fouled out — Greul.