By Doug Gorman
The Morrow girls' and Lovejoy boys' basketball teams each had a chance to come away with titles in the finals of the Arrowhead Basketball Tournament Saturday night, but in the end the two squads settled for second place in the 14th annual event at Morrow.
In the girls' championship, Morrow fell to Stone Mountain 53-51. In the boys' final the Wildcats dropped a 53-52 decision.
Morrow 53, Stone Mountain 51 (girls): The Morrow Lady Mustangs and the Stone Mountain Lady Pirates swapped the lead several times during Saturday night's tournament championship, and the game was still in the doubt until four seconds remaining.
That's when Stone' Mountain's Emily Watson converted a layup into the Lady Pirates' game-winning basket.
Morrow trailed 41-39 heading into the final quarter and the two squads spent the next eight minutes trading baskets.
The Lady Mustangs' took control of the game midway through the stanza when Karmeka Jackson scored to give Morrow a 47-46 lead.
Morrow appeared to have the tournament title locked up when it pushed its margin out to 51-47 late in the game, but then Stone Mountain put together a spurt of its own, outscoring the Lady Mustangs 6-0 down the stretch.
A pair of free throws by Stone Mountain with 31 seconds remaining tied the contest at 51.
Then after both teams turned the ball over Stone Mountain set up its game-winning shot.
Morrow and Stone Mountain traded baskets to open the first quarter as the two teams completed the first eight minutes of the game tied at 13.
Morrow went on a scoring explosion in the second quarter and led 33-27 at the break.
The Lady Mustangs lost their lead at the end of the third quarter as the Lady Pirates held Morrow to just six points at the end of the stanza to build a 41-39 lead.
Three players finished in double figures for Morrow with Brittany Swilley finishing with 15 points. Sheryl Swen added 14 and Jordan Greenleaf added 12.
Tri-Cities 53, Lovejoy 52 (boys): The Lovejoy Wildcats basketball team headed into the fourth quarter of Saturday's game with Tri-Cities trying to catch the Bulldogs.
Trailing 37-34 to open the final period, Lovejoy quickly found itself down by five points when Tri Cities opened the quarter with a basket to take a 39-34 lead.
Lovejoy refused to quit however, relying on two 3-points shots by Daashon Pryor.
Pryor's first trey of the fourth quarter tied the game at 45-all.
A few minutes later he cut the gap to 51-48 on his second 3-point jumper of the quarter.
After Tri-Cities pushed the lead to five points for the third time in the quarter, Lovejoy made one last run., capped when Michael Sloan converted a steal into the final points of the game with 12 seconds remaining for the final points.
Early in the game it was the 3-point shooting from Sloan that helped Lovejoy put points on its side of the scoreboard.
Sloan drained three 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 17 points for the game. Derek Brooks led the way for Lovejoy with 18 points.
Pryor, who only had two points in the first half, added 15 points for Lovejoy.
The Wildcats fell behind 15-9 after the first quarter, but used solid defense in the second quarter to take an 19-15 lead at the half.
While Tri-Cities only hit on field goal in the second stanza, Sloan sparked the offense for Lovejoy with two 3-pointers.