HUNTSVILLE Tyrone Willis was nearly perfect for Morrilton, which is back in the Class 5A state tournament hunt after a 54-42 victory Friday at Huntsville’s Charles Berry Gymnasium.
Willis was 6-of-8 shooting from the field and 8 of 8 from the free-throw line en route to a team-high 22 points. He also hit both of his three-pointers as the Devil Dogs (16-10) improved to 8-4 in the 5AWest Conference after a recent three-game losing streak.
“Ty Willis played a really good ballgame,” Morrilton Coach Trent Tipton said. “He’s been our most consistent player for the last two years.He hit some big threes tonight to push it away for us.”
Morrilton ramped up its defensive pressure in the second half after the Eagles (5-19, 1-11) pulled within 27-25 at halftime. Huntsville shot only 26 percent in the second half while committing six of its 13 turnovers.
The teams were tied at 28-28 with 6:42 left in the third quarter before the Devil Dogs an 8-3 run to end the third quarter.
Huntsville pulled to within 41-36 with 5:08 left in the game on Blake Evans’ three-pointer.
LaQuanta Canady had a rebound basket, Willis hit a three-pointer, Canady had a basket and Warren Leapheart added a basket as Morrilton pushed its lead to 50-38 with 1:55 remaining.
“They made some plays and we didn’t in the fourth quarter,” Huntsville Coach Jim Stafford said. “Willis made some tough shots in the fourth quarter.
“Willis is a good player. We had trouble containing him.”
Canady had 16 points and Leapheart added 11 for the Devil Dogs.
Cole Frick led the Eagles with 23 points.
HUNTSVILLE 42, MORRILTON 30
The Lady Eagles stepped up the defense in the second half to pull away from a halftime tie en route to a victory.
Morrilton (8-16, 2-10 5A-West) scored only four points in the third quarter asHuntsville (9-12, 7-5) took a 34-23 lead after the Lady Devil Dogs had rallied late in the first half for a 19-19 tie.
Huntsville took the lead for good on Rose Robinson’s free throw a minute into the second half.
She later scored off her own miss, hit another basket and assisted on a Taylor Grigg basket to push the lead to 26-21 with three minutes left in the third quarter.
Huntsville extended the lead to as much as 17 in the fourth quarter on two Lacey Jones baskets, including a three-pointer with 5:07 remaining.
Robinson scored 11 points, had 9 rebounds and 4 steals to pace the Lady Eagles. K.T. Davis scored 12 to lead Morrilton.
Huntsville outrebounded Morrilton 24-14 and forced 18 turnovers.