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Boys Basketball: Morgan Park drills Brooks 89-40

Updated: January 12, 2014 6:30AM

As the defending Class 3A state champion, Morgan Park knows it will have a target on its back all season, especially any time it takes the court against a city foe.

That’s just fine with the Mustangs.

“We like having the target on our back,” Morgan Park forward Josh Cunningham said. “We know we have to play our hardest every night. We’re going to get everyone’s best shot, so we have to come ready to play every game.”

In its home/Public League Red South opener Tuesday, the Mustangs certainly were ready, rolling over Brooks 89-40.

“We wanted to come out and make a statement,” Cunningham said. “We wanted to show everyone we still have a good team.”

Cunningham (18 points, 13 rebounds), Charlie Moore (18 points) and Torry Johnson (17 points) led Morgan Park (3-0), which jumped to a 20-10 lead after one quarter and cruised.

Tyler McKay led Brooks (2-4) with 10 points and six rebounds.

Things weren’t all smooth for the Mustangs, though. Twelve seconds into the game, coach Nick Irvin called a timeout, unhappy with how his team’s first possession was shaping up.

“Charlie is my floor general,” Irvin said. “When I run my stuff, he has to run it. We had a situation in Detroit (in Monday’s win over Detroit Pershing) where he didn’t run it and I let him get away with it. I couldn’t let him get away with it again.”

Moore responded by scoring seven points during a 11-0 run that gave the Mustangs a quick 13-3 lead.

Morgan Park rattled off an 11-0 run in the second quarter, capped by a Johnson three-point play, to extend the lead to 40-16.

The Mustangs’ swarming defense made it tough on Brooks all night, as the Eagles committed 25 turnovers and mostly settled for contested three-pointers.

“Defense is all we practice every day,” Moore said. “Nick doesn’t really care about offense. We focus on defense and we want to slow teams down.”

Kain Harris added 13 points and eight rebounds for Morgan Park. Dillon Nash had nine points and six rebounds for Brooks.

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