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Morgan Park's Billy Garrett Jr. drives against Lane's Noah Kahn. | Stacia Timonere~For Sun Times Media
Billy Garrett Jr. had time and opportunity to reflect on the last four years.
"I owe it all to Nick Irvin, given where I started and he made me the player I am today with his coaching and encouragement," the senior Morgan Park guard said.
Playing in his final home game, Garrett Jr. had his No. 5 jersey retired before the start of the game and then teamed with Kyle Davis to put the exclamation point on a still going remarkable career.
Davis poured in a career-high 42 points and Garrett Jr. (22 points) nailed seven of the Mustangs' 15 three-pointers as the host No. 2 Mustangs scored a stunning 71 first half points in annihilating Lane 123-51 in a second-round Public League city tournament game Thursday.
"I know the season still has a ways to go, but it was definitely bittersweet," Garrett Jr. said. "I was almost sad thinking about it before the game, and just wishing I had more games left at home and with these guys."
Morgan Park advances to meet No. 11 Curie, which won 56-34 over North Lawndale on Wednesday, in the quarterfinals at Chicago State on Sunday.
The Mustangs (23-2) bolted to a 14-2 lead 2:29 into the game and never looked back. Davis opened the game with a three-pointer, the start of a 15-point first quarter explosion. Garrett Jr. hit three three-pointers in the first quarter as Morgan Park ran out to a stunning 37-5 advantage after the first quarter.
"We wanted to get out to a fast start because the other day, in our first round game, we got off to a slow start and we didn't want to repeat that again today," Garrett Jr. said.
Garrett Jr. became just the second player to have his jersey retired, joining former Sun-Times Player of the Year and current Louisville-standout Wayne Blackshear.
"To have my jersey retired and up there with Wayne, it's very special," he said.
Morgan Park forced 10 Lane turnovers in the first quarter that fueled the rout. Morgan Park drilled 10 of its 15 three-pointers in the first half. Freshman guard Charlie Moore (23 points) nailed a 23-footer from the right wing for a stunning 71-20 lead at the break. Moore made four three-pointers in scoring 13 points in the second quarter alone.
Davis was spectacular in every way. He scored 25 in the first half and added 13 points in the third quarter. He added seven rebounds, seven assists and six steals.
"It was a real honor to see Billy get his jersey retired like that," Davis said.
"In practice the other day, Nick talked with me about not fading away on on my jump shot, but make sure my feet are set and going forward on the release and I made sure I did that today."
Davis easily eclipsed his previous career-high of 32 points. "It's been great playing with these guys, and the way they've welcomed me into their family," the Hyde Park transfer said.
Emerging star junior wing Josh Cunningham added 10 points and seven rebounds. Nine different Morgan Park players scored.
Garrett Jr. ended the game in glorious fashion. He nailed four three-pointers in the fourth quarter, the last a 26-footer to punctuate his glorious day. He added eight assists, five rebounds and four steals.
"It was very personal, even emotional, to have this be my final game at home," he said. "This has been my home court where people have watched and seen me play.
"It was special."
Forward Admir Suljic scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in the second half for the Indians (11-15). Matt Delanty added 10 points.