J.J. gets to 1K: Morris scores 1,000th point in Argos win over North Miami
Richard adds 14, Stults has 12
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
ARGOS — Argos boys basketball player J.J. Morris knew he was close to 1,000 career points, but the unusually loud crowd reaction when he knocked down a 15-footer to give his team a 29-point lead with 1:05 to play against visiting North Miami at Phil Weybright Gymnasium was a dead giveaway.
Morris finished with 28 points for the game and 1,001 for his career as the Dragons handled North Miami 65-36 at Phil Weybright Gymnasium Tuesday.
“It feels great,” Morris said. “It’s something that you know when you’re little you always dream of, but you never know if it’s actually going to happen, so it just feels good for it to finally happen and get it over with.”
Sean Richard added 14 points, and Luke Stults had 12 for Argos, who bounced back from a home loss to Bethany Christian to improve to 7-3.
Landen Hunt scored 17 points, and Jacob Riley added 10 for North Miami, who lost their 11th straight game and fell to 1-11.
Argos led 21-10 after one quarter and maintained an 11-point halftime lead at 32-21. Morris, a 6-6 senior, then outscored the entire North Miami team 16-15 in the second half, and he did in a variety of ways – cutting off the ball, driving baseline to the basket and finishing around the rim. He also made 9 of 14 free throws against a North Miami team that does not have a player taller than 6-0.
“I knew I’d have to have to have a really good game to get it today, so I wasn’t totally banking on it, but I could tell by the crowd a couple shots that if I would have made it, I would have been pretty close,” Morris said.
Argos coach Jason Breden said he never talked with Morris about the milestone, but a talk he had with assistant coach Ian Kindig in the fourth quarter and the Dragons well ahead led to a change of plans.
“I didn’t know if he knew or not,” Breden said. “He probably had an idea because we’re midway through his senior year, and he’s scored a lot. … We just wanted to play our normal game plan. We didn’t want to force anything with him and just let the game come to him, which I thought he did.
“About three minutes to go in that fourth quarter, talking to coach Kindig, he said he was only four away, and that’s when I was like, ‘OK, let’s get it done now. Get it done at home.’ We’re going to be on the road for our next three games at least, so at the end, we wanted to get it done now.”
Argos opened the second half with an 8-1 run and went on another 13-0 spurt covering the third and fourth quarters that got the lead to 56-29.
Richard had eight points during the latter run, including a 3-point play off a press breaker. Richard and Nate Manikowski capped the run with 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions.
“Extremely important,” Breden said when asked of the significance of the win four days after a home conference loss to Bethany Christian. “Every game’s a big game for us. I don’t care who you’re playing. Every game is a big game. You can look at March Madness last year, St. Peter’s and the run they made. 2018, I believe it was, when Virginia got upset by a 16 seed (UMBC). The beautiful thing about the game of basketball is anybody can win on any given night. Especially after a loss to Bethany Christian where I felt we had a couple miscues ourselves rather than them truly beating us. They bounced back in the areas that I challenged them in, and I thought they met the challenge and worked hard to better themselves the best they can.”
Argos 65, North Miami 36
NORTH MIAMI (36) (1-11)
Landen Hunt 7 3-5 17, Jacob Riley 5 0-2 10, Ray Pickett 1 0-0 2, Drew Wright 1 0-0 2, Brayden Binnion 0 0-1 0, Isaac Floyd 0 1-2 1, Dolan Blakely 1 0-0 2, Bryce Gosnell 0 0-0 0, Braxtyn Rader 0 0-0 0, Preston Wilcox 1 0-0 2, Josh Mowery 0 0-0 0, Lake Musall 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 16 4-10 36
ARGOS (65) (7-3)
Nate Manikowski 2 0-0 5, Sean Richard 4 5-5 14, Elijah Osborn 2 0-0 6, J.J. Morris 9 9-14 28, Luke Stults 6 0-0 12, A.J. Mills 0 0-0 0, Hayden Hensler 0 0-0 0, Gabe McMillen 0 0-0 0, Mack Calhoun 0 0-0 0, Dominic Burns 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 23 14-19 65
Three-point field goals:
North Miami 0,
Argos 5 (Osborn 2, Manikowski, Morris, Richard)
Total fouls: North Miami 16, Argos 14
Score by quarters
North Miami 10 11 8 7 – 36
Argos 21 11 16 17 – 65
The Argos boys basketball team wore special National Guard uniforms in their 65-36 win over North Miami Tuesday. The Dragons (7-3) will travel to sectional rival Oregon-Davis at 7:30 p.m. Friday before beginning Bi-County Tournament play at Culver at 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday.