Morrow coach Yolanda Jenkins’ team snapped a four-game losing skid on Tuesday with a win over visiting Tri-Cities in a Region 4-AAAA contest.
After four straight close and agonizing defeats, what the Morrow Lady Mustangs and head coach Yolanda Jenkins needed the most was a good pick-me-up. They got it on Tuesday night.
On the strength of some strong inside play by center Shadarian Beasley and ever-intense defensive effort throughout the game, Morrow snapped that four-game skid with a convincing 72-36 rout over visiting Tri-Cities in Region 4-AAAA action. Morrow improves to 8-11 overall and 6-7 in the region, continuing to battle for a top five position in the region. Tri-Cities drops to 2-17 overall and 1-12 in the region.
“We needed this one,” Jenkins said. “We had lost our way in terms of pulling out close games in recent weeks, so this was good for us. Hopefully, this will be the stepping stone for us down the stretch. This region flip-flops week by week, so getting that fourth or fifth spot is extremely critical.”
Morrow aimed to establish the inside game with Beasley and she delivered. The 6-foot junior finished the game with 17 points, but scored 13 of those points in the first half. She scored on four put-backs in the second quarter to lift the Lady Mustang lead to 23-5 with 3:52 remaining as the Lady Mustangs opened the quarter on a 13-2 run. Back-to-back lay-ups by Kiana Neal and Tiara Bromelk increased the Morrow lead to 32-8 with a minute remaining, and the Lady Mustangs took a 32-12 lead at halftime.
The Lady Mustangs turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, building as much as a 32-point lead in the third quarter. Beasley scored twice in the paint, followed by lay-ups from Neal and Markesha Campbell. A jump shot in the lane by Imani Richards gave Morrow a commanding 47-15 lead at the 3:02 mark, capping an 11-0 run by the Lady Mustangs.
“We decided to go to her (Beasley) early and often to establish the inside-outside attack and get her some points,” Jenkins said. “And the level of defensive intensity was consistent throughout. It didn’t matter if the starters were in the game or the reserves, they did not let up.”
Richards spearheaded the Morrow attack in fourth quarter with nine points as play got intense. She scored six straight points to give Morrow a 64-32 lead with 3:23 remaining. The Lady Mustangs’ largest lead of the game was 38 points, 72-34 on a free throw by Bromelk with 39 seconds remaining. In the final three minutes, Tri-Cities was whistled for three intentional fouls and one technical.
In addition to Beasley, Richards paced Morrow with 20 points, while Bromelk scored eight points. Jhane Glover scored nine points to pace Tri-Cities.