MORRIS – With senior Mya Shannon scoring 26 points Saturday night to become the school’s all-time scoring leader, the Morris girls basketball team scored a 60-48 nonconference win over Plainfield Central.
Shannon entered the game with 1,143 points, trailing leader Julie Jurasits by 19. The 5-foot-9 guard/forward scored nine points in the first quarter and 16 in the first half to help the Redskins (3-5) to a 33-20 halftime lead.
“We had a little trouble corralling No. 22 [Shannon] in the first half,” Plainfield Central coach Armond Frazier said. “We are a young team, and we have to get used to seeing all types of players. We hadn’t seen a player like her yet.”
Frazier’s answer in the second half was to deny Shannon the ball. He did that by having two players follow her every move when Morris had the ball. That left three defenders to try and cover the other four Morris players, and the Redskins were able to take advantage often enough to maintain their lead.
Sophomore Kachae Donald hit a pair of 3-pointers early in the third quarter for the Wildcats (5-3), and a putback basket by freshman Annaliese Griffin cut the Morris lead to single digits at 39-30. After freshman Kennedy Dransfeldt scored for Morris off an assist from Paige Valentine, Shannon grabbed a defensive rebound and dribbled the length of the floor before stopping in the lane for a short jumper. She made the shot, which gave Morris a 43-30 lead and gave her the scoring record.
“I knew how many I needed before the game, but I didn’t know how many I had when the game was going on,” Shannon said. “It feels good to get it, and now I can stop thinking about it and just go out and play the rest of the year.”
Donald led Plainfield Central with 22 points, while Griffin had seven. Freshman Melissa Schmidt had a team-high 10 rebounds, with Griffin and Donald adding seven each. For Morris, Valentine had 11 points, while Gigi Corban had nine and Dransfeldt scored eight. Shannon led with 13 rebounds, while Valentine had 12 and Dransfeldt added 10.
“I told the girls both at halftime and after the game that I really liked the distribution of points,” Morris coach Kate Carey said. “We knew we might face a team that would double Mya everywhere, but we hadn’t seen it until tonight. The rest of the girls did a good job of running the offense.
“I know Mya is going to find ways to score, whether it’s off a steal or rebound on defense or an offensive board. If we can get the other girls scoring like they did tonight, we will be OK.”
Morris took a 51-39 lead into the fourth and a fast-break basket by Mackenzie Lind off a Valentine assist made it 56-41. Plainfield Central then scored the next five points to cut it to 56-46 with 3:27 remaining. Katie Kearney then converted a steal into a layup to pull the Wildcats to within 56-48, but Shannon scored the game’s final four points on a pair of free throws, then a layup off a steal.
“The best thing is that we won,” Shannon said. “We had lost a few in a row, so it was good to come out and win tonight.”