Morrow’s 26 second-half points carries Wildcats over Red Devils
By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY – The eighth Annual Silent Night game between Green Bay East and Green Bay West is more than a basketball game.
Each season, the parents, students and spectators remain silent until one team reaches 10 points.
It’s part of a cause in which many volunteers and members of the community raise awareness and dollars to combat homelessness in and around Northeastern Wisconsin.
“Last year was my first year being in this game,” said West head coach Tom Mackey. “It’s quite a spectacle and for a good cause. Lots of people don’t realize hunger and homelessness does happen here in Wisconsin, and we can make a difference with raffles, donations and school support.”
This year’s game produced a dramatic way to reach the 10th-point milestone.
With 8:11 remaining in the first half and the Red Devils (0-18 overall, 0-11 Bay Conference) holding an 8-7 advantage, East’s Judit Munoz-Lopez launched a 23-footer from the top of the key and was fouled.
The gym erupted with noise, and Lopez hit the all-important free throw to complete the rare four-point play.
However, it was West (6-13, 4-7) which went on to win the contest, 59-48, Feb. 1 at East High School.
Taeja Morrow led the Wildcats with 30 points, 26 of which came in the second half.
Munoz-Lopez paced the Red Devils with 20 points.
After the Wildcats grabbed an early 7-4 lead with 10:48 remaining in the first half, East went on a 10-1 run behind baskets from Munoz-Lopez and D.J. Morris.
The Red Devils also benefited with seven missed free throws from the Wildcats.
West slowly whittled East’s lead down and eventually trailed 21-20 at the half.
“We didn’t have the energy in the first half,” Mackey said. “It’s our third road game of the week and we looked sluggish early.”
Morrow then caught fire starting the second half, hitting back-to-back triples to give the visitors a 26-21 lead.
Later on, the Red Devils’ Tatiana Gonion connected on a 12-foot jumper to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 37-34.
Down the stretch, Morrow took the game over.
With 8:05 remaining and the Wildcats up six, Morrow scored seven of her team’s next nine points to extent the lead.
“I bring lots of energy to my team and knew I had to step up with us being down one point at the break,” said Morrow. “I didn’t realize I had that many points.”
The Red Devils got no closer than five points the rest of the way as West captured the double-digit victory.
“It was the first time I was able to put four seniors on the floor for an extended part of a game,” said Mackey. “I like where we’re at right now and are working hard to get better the final three games of the regular season.”
Green Bay West: 20, 39—59
Green Bay East: 21, 27—48
Wildcats: Morrow 30, Allen 11, Cornelius 5, Williams 5, Hynek 5, Cooper-Holmes 3
Red Devils: Munoz-Lopez 20, Morris 8, Weathersby 7, Gonion 6, Castro 4, Flores 2, Schroeder 1