No. 1 Morgan Park fends off Notre Dame
By Michael O’Brien Sun-Times Media December 2, 2012 10:40PM
Morgan Park's Josh Cunningham slam dunks against Notre Dame. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media
The crowd at Notre Dame was full-throated and lusting for an upset over No. 1 Morgan Park, and for three quarters the Dons had fulfilled their wishes.
Notre Dame just didn’t have enough left in the tank for the fourth quarter, and Morgan Park senior Kyle Davis played the villain role to perfection, taking over and leading the Mustangs to a 61-52 win Sunday at the Cyrus McGinnis Jump Ball Showcase in Niles.
“We came out here ready to run. Running is all we do — in the gym, on the track, everything,” Davis said. “We could see it at the end that they were tired.”
Notre Dame led 48-44 after three quarters but was outscored 17-5 in the fourth.
Davis finished with a game-high 23 points. Billy Garrett Jr. and Josh Cunningham each scored eight. Xzavier Taylor scored five points and grabbed eight rebounds, including several crucial ones in the fourth quarter.
“I’ve been talking to X every day about his rebounding and shot blocking, telling him what he could be,” Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin said. “He finally listened, and it paid off.”
It was a team effort for Notre Dame (6-1), with all six players that logged significant minutes chipping in. Justin Halloran led the way with 14 points, Matt Mooney scored 12 and Eddie Serrano added nine points and six rebounds.
Halloran drained three three-pointers in the first quarter, igniting the crowd and setting the early tone for the Dons.
“Those threes didn’t mean anything,” Davis said. “We just came out and weren’t executing and were missing our free throws.”
Morgan Park (2-0) shot 15-for-30 from the free-throw line in the game. The Mustangs received a major boost from freshman Charlie Moore. He’s considered one of the area’s top players in the 2016 class. Moore scored six points and forced two steals while showcasing an impressive all-around floor game.
“When Charlie called me up and said he was coming to Morgan Park I told him to be ready to play on varsity,” Irvin said. “He’s built for this. He’s been preparing for it his whole life.”