Coal City’s Nick Peters took control in the first half, but it was Brennen Shetina and Lane Cowherd who regained it for the Coalers.
A 16-point lead dwindled to five late in the third quarter Saturday night against Morris before Coal City responded to claim a 67-59 victory and the title of the Coalers’ own Turkey Tournament.
“I felt the team kind of needed a spark,” Shetina said. “We were getting real low, no emotion really. I had to spark my team and get ‘em going.”
Shetina had two three-point plays on drives to the basket sandwiched around a putback by Cowherd for an 8-0 run that gave Coal City a 48-35 advantage early in the final quarter.
“He [Shetina] made some great moves to the hoop,” Coal City coach Brad Boresi said. “I thought he took over, kind of put us on his back, got some huge buckets for us when we needed them most.”
Shetina led Coal City (3-0) with 20 points, 14 in the second half. The 6-8 Peters finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Cowherd had 15 points, including six straight in the fourth quarter.
Coal City was ahead 34-20 at halftime after outscoring Morris 19-5 in the second quarter, led by six points each from Peters and Shetina.
“We had a rough first quarter, but I thought we had a great second quarter, probably of the short season our best quarter so far,” Boresi said. “Our mindset tonight was to have a conscious effort to play good, solid defense.”
Morris rallied in the third period with a 15-4 run to get the Redskins within five points, 40-35, with 1:25 left in the period. That was as close as they’d get.
Evan Bjelland scored a game-high 23 points for Morris (2-1). Austin Patterson had 12 points while Jake Walker added nine off the bench.
“We didn’t take care of the ball and I don’t think we executed very well,” Morris coach Joe Blumberg said. “Shetina and Peters were tough to stop. We didn’t play very well.”
Serena 51, Gardner-South Wilmington 50: In the first game, Gardner-South Wilmington led 50-47 after two free throws by Trevor McDaniel with 45 seconds to play, but Serena’s Cal Mason hit two jumpers in the final 30 seconds.
Tristan Noonan led GSW (0-3) with 20 points and Kyle Robison had 15.