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INDIANAPOLIS - Morgan Park players have lofty goals that go beyond winning a state championship.
The Mustangs also want to be known as one of the premier teams in the nation and made a statement in proving that on Saturday in the Indy Legacy Indiana vs. Illinois Showcase at Indianapolis Tech High School.
“We want to be the best team in the state and the No. 1 team in the country,” said Morgan Park’s Lamont Walker.
It was Walker’s double-double that led Morgan Park to a 67-58 win over previously undefeated Lawrence North (Ind.), which features Purdue University signee Basil Smotherman.
“We just beat a good team in Indianapolis, basically on their home turf,” Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin said. “That is what makes it so sweet right now and it shows what type of school we are, not just in Chicago, but nationally.”
Morgan Park (4-0) opened the second half with an 8-2 run that put the Mustangs ahead 41-29 and Lawrence North (5-1) never again seriously threatened.
Kyle Davis scored seven of his team-high 19 points in the run to open the second half. Walker provided 18 points and 17 rebounds.Billy Garrett added 12 points.
“It was a team effort, and like I’ve been stressing since the first day of practice, we have to be more of a team and we did that today,” Irvin said.
Smotherman led Lawrence North with 18 points, scoring eight in the first half. Limiting his offensive production when the game was still in the balance was part of a solid all-around effort on that end of the floor for the Mustangs.
“Lamont Walker just took [Smotherman] out of the game,” Irvin said. “It’s what he has been doing all year for us. Our 2-3 zone also bothered them I think.”
Offensively, Morgan Park played to its strength by turning defensive stops into transition opportunities.
“We want to get up and down and force the tempo to put pressure on the other team, and I think we did that,” Irvin said. “We ran our half-court sets pretty good. We attacked the glass and attacked the rim, so I would give us an A on offense.”