Morgan Park displayed equal parts good and bad during Friday’s game against Proviso East in the ChiTown Showdown at Young High School.
The No. 18 Mustangs closed an up-and-down contest with a stellar fourth-quarter defensive effort in a 60-41 victory.
For every highlight-reel run, the Mustangs (5-0) had a turnover-filled segment. But they survived with four players in double figures.
“We’re a work in progress,” first-year Morgan Park coach Kedonica Taylor said. “We had some mental lapses because our bench is small right now.
The Mustangs relied on guards Cachet Johnson (14 points), Bhrea Griffin (11 points) and Shami Goodman (11) to force turnovers, control the tempo and take over the game when needed.
“I felt like we were rushing and we needed to calm down,” Goodman said. “Overall, we had a good game.”
The Pirates (6-2) whittled a double-digit deficit to 35-29 with 10 straight points just before halftime. The Mustangs’ pressure defense ignited an 11-0 spurt during a five-minute stretch that spilled into the third quarter to take a 54-33 lead after a basket by Johnson.
Proviso East’s upset bid was washed away after it missed 10 straight shots during a 12-possession span until ending Morgan Park’s run with a basket with just under three minutes left in regulation.
“I thought my two seniors, Bhrea and Shami, played really well,” Taylor said. “We had too many turnovers and missed layups, but we’ll get better.”
The Mustangs forced eight fourth-quarter turnovers but committed nine. Taylor said the Mustangs missed junior Tyana Porter (knee injury). Junior Tammy Russell had 12 points for the Mustangs.
“Our coach said we had to limit them to 10 points a quarter,” Goodman said. “We played good defense in the fourth.”
Player of the game: Bhrea Griffin, Morgan Park, 11 points, 9 steals.
Key performers: Proviso East — Cina McCray, 11 points, 3 steals; Savannah Clark, 9 points. Morgan Park — Cachet Johnson, 14 points, 3 steals; Shami Goodman, 11 points, 2 3-pointers. VFP