By Joshua Kraeger
Special to the Daily
The Forest Park Panthers fought four quarters strong and needed one more to put away the Morrow Mustangs 72-67 in overtime Friday night at home.
Morrow came into Forest Park's home court with a force, in the form of sophomore center Dante Ottley. The Mustangs' offense ran through him in the first quarter, as he scored six of Morrow's 15 points and added five rebounds. The Panthers looked hot in the beginning as well, but only managed to score 10 first quarter points. However, in the second quarter Forest Park took over the game and the lead.
A total team effort led the Panthers to outscoring the Mustangs 12-6 to start the quarter and 19-10 in the entire quarter. This gave Forest Park a four point lead going into the half, but more importantly the momentum.
Morrow came charging back in the third, but Forest Park was able to manage the ball well and maintained a one point lead going into the final quarter.
The final quarter was a chess game so to speak, with each team orchestrating their offenses in strategic fashion, trading baskets and emotions ran high.
With the score at 59-58 in favor of Forest Park, Morrow was at the line for a one-and-one when a fan ran across the court in front of the free-throw shooter. The fan was taken out of the gym, but his effect remained, as Morrow missed the free throw and an outlet pass led to a foul and free throws for Forest Park.
The Panthers' senior point guard Malikki Priester was clutch hitting the go-ahead free throws to put the Panthers up three at 61-58. However, Morrow had not given up yet.
Junior point guard Jordan Faciane drove the ball up the court, pump-faked and drew a foul. The foul just happened to be on a three point shot. With the noise in the gym at a deafening level, Faciane proceeded to make all three free throws.
Forest Park was unable to convert on the ensuing possession and the game went into overtime.
In overtime Forest Park took over, with junior shooting guard Lemuel
Fuller leading the way with five of his 15 points. With time winding down the Panthers led by three, and stole the ball from Morrow to score two more points. This cemented the victory and emotions ran sky-high as Forest Park's fans stormed the court to celebrate the win.
Priester led the Panthers with 18 points, and his efforts were supplemented by junior point guard Nichalos Crawford's 10 rebounds and eight assists. Ottley led Morrow with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Forest Park (8-11) travels to Riverdale Saturday, while Morrow (8-11) hosts Mount Zion Saturday.
Forest Park 68
Morrow 24 (girls)
The Lady Panthers pounded the Lady Mustangs 68-24 at home Friday night to increase their un-beaten region streak to 13 games.
The Panthers came out firing on all cylinders in the first quarter. They started off the game on a 10-0 run en route to scoring 15 points and holding Morrow to a mere two points. The second quarter was a slightly different story, with Morrow managing to score 10 points, but Forest Park outdid its counterpart once more, putting up 20 points.
The second half seemed to be a mirror of the first, with Forest Park outscoring Morrow 20-4 in the third quarter and 13-8 in the final quarter.
In a total team effort, Forest Park senior shooting guard Jessica Anderson led the way with 15 points and four rebounds. Her efforts were complimented by 10 points and two rebounds from freshman point guard Kayla Potts and seven points, five steals and four assists from standout senior shooting guard Ashlee Cole.
Forest Park (15-5) will travel to Riverdale Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten region record to 14-0. Morrow (5-10) will host Mount Zion Saturday and continue searching for a win.