Jan. 23—SOMERVILLE — Both the West Morgan boys and girls opened the Morgan County Tournament with wins Monday night.
Playing in the first round of the tournament, which is being held at Brewer High School, the boys defeated Priceville 57-54, while the girls edged Danville 50-45.
West Morgan boys 57, Priceville 54: West Morgan watched a nine-point halftime lead disappear Monday night as the Priceville Bulldogs put together a strong rally in the second half.
Priceville cut the lead to 42-41 by the end of the third quarter and led 46-42 midway through the fourth. In desperate need of a game changing play, Jalen Fletcher was the hero of the night as he knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Rebels their momentum back.
"That was an energy killer (for Priceville)," Fletcher said. "I felt like we needed something badly, and I needed to step up to the plate."
"I'm just glad I made them," Fletcher added.
Priceville did manage to regain a one-point lead. However, a go-ahead 3-pointer from Jay Garland put West Morgan ahead for good.
The Rebels' composure showed through during the win as they shook off Priceville's rally.
"We have matured a lot," Fletcher said. "I feel like the old us wouldn't have handled that well, but this year we have the ability to calm down and reset."
Landon Henderson led West Morgan with 18 points, while Fletcher added 11. Sammy Holmes led Priceville with a game-high 22.
West Morgan advances to the semifinals, where the Rebels will play top-seeded Danville on Saturday.
"Danville's a great team. There's a reason they're No. 1 in this tournament," West Morgan head coach Brandon Tucker said. "We split with them in the regular season, and I think if we come out and play the right way, it's going to be a good game for everybody to watch."
West Morgan girls 50, Danville 45: Jordyn Free's go-ahead 3-pointer with a minute to go lifted the Rebels to a win over Danville on Monday.
Danville erased a nine-point deficit going into the fourth quarter and tied the game at 45 with just over a minute to go, but Free's clutch shot sealed the win.
"That was such a big moment," said West Morgan head coach Bradley Willis. "We had turned the ball over, had a couple of bad plays and let them back in the game, but then Jordyn goes down and makes that shot. That really showed her growth as a player."
West Morgan controlled the game, leading 12-8 after the first quarter, 28-19 at halftime and 40-31 after three quarters, but had to hold off a late rally by the Hawks to win.
Haniyah Standridge led the Rebels with 12 points. Addison Knowlton and Chasity Rikard each had eight. Madalyn McCreless led Danvlle with 15.
West Morgan advances to play No. 1 seed Priceville on Saturday in the semifinals.
"Priceville's one of the best teams in the state, so we have our work cut out for us," Willis said. "I think the important thing we can do is to just focus on us and what we can control."
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