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Boys Basketball: Morgan Park outlasts Maine South

Josh Cunningham is foul trying dunk Maine South's  Davis Neilands. Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times Media

Josh Cunningham is foul trying to dunk on Maine South's Davis Neilands. Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 30, 2014 6:43AM

Maine South coach Tony Lavorato Jr. did just about everything he could to try to will his team to pull an upset of Morgan Park on Friday night in the Proviso West Holiday Tournament.

The only thing he couldn’t do was find a way to stop Mustangs guard Kain Harris from hitting three-pointers almost at will.

Harris finished with nine treys in leading his team to a hard-fought 60-56 win.

The Mustangs (8-1) will meet Fenwick in a quarterfinal at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

“We had no fear and felt we could win the game,” Lavorato Jr. said. “We didn’t come here to play these games, we came here to win these games. We felt our system and style held up. I am proud, but disappointed we didn’t get the win.”

Harris finished with 33 points and was one three-pointer shy of tying the all-time tournament record of 10 set by Glenbrook North’s Chris Stamas in 2005.

“I didn’t know I hit that many,” Harris said. “I work every day on my shooting. I was glad I was able to step up for the team.”

Josh Cunningham did his damage for Morgan Park, finishing with 14 points, including three alley-oop plays in the fourth quarter. The last one came with 7.3 seconds left, a play in which he somehow converted on the pass that was way left of where it was meant to be thrown.

“One day it’s Josh, (Friday) it was Kain, and the next time it will be somebody else,” Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin said. “That’s just the kind of team we have.”

Andrew Palucki and George Sargeant had 14 points each for the Hawks (8-2) despite each collecting his fourth foul in the third quarter. Caleb deMarigny added 11 points.

The Mustangs trailed 25-22 at halftime but regained the lead in the third period when Harris hit three consecutive three-pointers. Harris was just getting warmed us as he connected on six threes and 20 points in the quarter. The Mustangs led 47-40 heading into the final period.

With the score 54-45 in favor of Morgan Park, the Hawks went on a 7-0 run to pull to within 54-52 with 1:30 left. They also drew to within two points with 39.5 and 14.9 left.

“They set a lot of picks and ran their guys off screens — it was pretty chaotic,” Harris said of the Hawks. “We learned to be patient and stay together as a team.”

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