Guided by a couple outstanding performances from PG Malik Morgan and G David Shedrick, the No. 2 ranked 5A Churchill Lancers gave the No. 4 ranked 6A Sheldon Irish their second loss in a row in front of their home fans 73-62.
“Man, it was exciting. We came out here played hard, played intense, played defense and just ran with it,” Shedrick said.
Sheldon simply could not stop Shedrick and Morgan from getting to the rim. Morgan’s killer crossover was putting Irish guards on skates all night long, while Shedrick consistently overpowered whoever had the unenviable task of matching up with him. The duo combined to score 51 points.
“I was just setting screens and they were finding me. When I had the ball up top, I had a lane a lot of times and I just took it,” Shedrick said.
Shedrick, Morgan and Churchill put on a scoring run of epic proportions in the second quarter. The Lancers astoundingly scored on every possession except for one the entire quarter.
“They got three offensive rebound three point shots in a row in the second quarter. That’s where they got the gap and then they sustained it,” Sheldon coach Daniel Clark said.
But it wasn’t only those two who were getting to the rim and drawing fouls. The Lancers shot 21 free throws on the night. However, they made just 13.
A silver lining in Sheldon’s loss was the improved play of G Jordan Alexander. Alexander, who was ice cold against South Eugene on Friday, scored 18 points, shot 6-8 from the field and hit a sensational buzzer beater at the end of the first quarter. Also, G Logan Davis bounced back from a similarly poor shooting night on Friday. Davis scored 14 points on 5-12 shooting.
Other than free throws, rebounding and turnovers forced a wedge in the scoring margin between the two teams. Sheldon grabbed five offensive rebounds, whereas Churchill pulled down nine.
“I think second chance opportunities is what turned it for them,” Clark said.
Though Sheldon only lost the turnover battle 9-7, it was its lack of forced turnovers that was most telling. The Irish came back against South Eugene utilizing the press. However, they had no such luck against the Lancers . When Sheldon did institute the press, Churchill’s fast and athletic guards navigated through the full court defense and scored easy buckets.
The victory marked the first time any current Churchill player has won at Sheldon High School.
“We always come in and play well the first half and then then we let them run away in the second half. This time we played well throughout the whole game,” Shedrick said.
“Before the game I told the seniors this is our last time playing at Sheldon. We have to go out with a bang,” he added.
Sheldon will look to end its two game losing streak at home vs. Grant on Friday. Also on Friday, Churchill will look to keep riding the victory train on the road against Marist.