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Morgan Park's Josh Cunningham slam dunks on a breakaway against Normal U-High. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times
Normal U-High had no chance against the Mustangs on Saturday night as Morgan Park's relentless defense and prolific offense led to a 81-51 victory in a nonconference game at Brooks.
"That's one thing we emphasize, being aggressive from the jump," said Mustangs' guard Billy Garrett who led his team with 19 points. "The other thing we try to emphasize is coming out in the third quarter, being aggressive and getting out to a fast start."
Garrett was lights out, shooting 7-for-9 including a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. Morgan Park started hot, jumping out to a 7-0 lead.
U-High (11-4) pulled within 14-9 with 1:31 left in the first quarter after back-to-back field goals by Keita Bates-Diop (20 points) and Nick Schroeder. The Mustangs responded with a 14-0 run including a three-pointer by Garrett, Torry Johnson and Kyle Davis to break the game wide open.
Garrett had 11 points in the first half as Morgan Park (15-1) stormed out to a 43-19 halftime lead.
The Mustangs defensive pressure was too much for the Pioneers, especially in the first half when U-High was 6-for-28 from the floor and 1-for-8 from three-point land.
Bates-Diop, who is committed to Ohio State, was able to get his points but Morgan Park didn't make it easy.
"They're so good and so athletic and they're fast," he said. "They can just pull people off the bench and keep coming at you. So it was tough, but we tried to battle."
Morgan Park had three other players in double digits besides Garrett.
Davis had 16 points, Josh Cunningham scored 11 and Xzavier Taylor finished with 10.
"When all of us get going, it's kind of scary for other teams because they don't know who to stop," Davis said. "During this season I haven't been shooting that good. I came out trying to work on my shot and it was falling for me today."