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Joliet West's Morris Dunnigan (23) sets and shoots over Lockport's David Robinson (23). | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
There is no explaining what occurred at Joliet West on Friday other than to say, “It’s high school basketball.”
West senior guard Morris Dunnigan scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half as the Tigers erased a 21-15 halftime deficit en route to a 56-51 SouthWest Suburban Blue victory over Lockport. But to say both teams were on a roller coaster in the regular-season finale is an understatement.
Lockport (8-18, 6-8) trailed 6-0 early before mounting 6-0 and 11-0 runs to grab the halftime lead. West (17-7, 10-4) opened the second half on a 14-0 run to lead 29-21 and was coasting 50-33 before junior guard Grover Anderson triggered a 13-0 Porters’ run to make it 50-46 with 1:52 left. Dunnigan finally secured victory with four late free throws.
“For a while there, we didn’t value the ball, and Lockport is a good team,” Dunnigan said. “They fight you to the end.”
Dunnigan switched to his blue shoes at halftime.
“This pair are more comfortable. They make me feel taller,” he explained.
“Morris is a gamer,” West coach Luke Yaklich said. “He knows when he needs to make things happen and when to defer. Our other guys then fill in key roles.”
“Morris is a team player,” Lockport coach Lawrence Thompson Jr. said. “You treasure kids like that. He could get a good shot every time down and you couldn’t be mad at him. But he gets his teammates involved.”
Lockport planned to mix man and zone defenses. When the zone dominated the first half, the Porters stuck with it, and the Tigers responded.
“They did a great job adjusting to our zone,” Thompson said. “They got after it and we got complacent.
“Once they got the lead, they thought we would continue like we were, but our kids stayed with it.”
“I’m proud of our guys the way they picked up the energy in the second half,” Yaklich said. “Then Lockport did a great job not panicking and taking the ball to the basket in the fourth quarter.”
Carl Terrell scored 15 points and Brandon McCullum had 11 to go with eight rebounds for West. John Campbell scored 15 and Anderson added13, all in the fourth quarter, for Lockport.