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Morgan Park capped its four-game stretch with Lance Irvin serving as the team’s interim head coach with a 68-47 win over Harlan Thursday in Red-South play.
The win moved the team to 4-0 under Lance Irvin. He will return to his role as an assistant under his brother Nick Irvin, who has been serving a four game suspension for an altercation that followed the Simeon-Morgan Park game on Jan. 19. Nick Irvin will rejoin the team Friday, in time for a showdown against rival Bogan.
Harlan surprised No. 2 Morgan Park (20-2, 7-1 Red-South) in the first half with a strong effort that had the Mustangs trailing 26-24 with 1:45 remaining in the second quarter. But the final 1:45 turned into a nightmare for the Falcons as the Mustangs closed out the quarter with a spectacular 10-0 run brought on by some tenacious defense.
Harlan (8-13, 3-4) only got off one shot in the final 1:45, as Kyle Davis scored twice off two steals. Markee Williams recorded two steals, each of which ended in Josh Cunningham layups. Billy Garrett finished off the run as he picked a player clean and went straight down the lane for a flush as time expired in the quarter with Morgan Park leading 34-26.
The third quarter opened with a three-point play by Davis that triggered a 16-2 run and the rout was on, as the Mustangs built a 50-28 lead with 2:33 remaining in the third quarter. There was liberal substitution from that point on for Morgan Park.
Cunningham led the Mustangs with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Davis had 13 points and eight rebounds and Garrett, despite battling the flu, finished with 12 points. Williams only scored four points but had 10 assists and five steals and was singled out by his coach.
“Markee did what a good point guard is supposed to do,” Lance Irvin said. “He made the game easy for everybody by running the offense to perfection. Bill and Josh hit some big shots and we got busy on the defensive end.”
Harlan coach Irvin Bryant was disappointed his team couldn't sustain its early momentum.
“We didn’t close out the final minutes of the second quarter and played with none of the intensity we played with in the first half," Bryant said.
Perry Willis led the Falcons with 12 points and Andre Hogan had 11.