Tigers Tested at Mavs Fall Classic, Finish in 4th Place
Mount Pleasant Basketball | News | by Drew Barkley
The Mount Pleasant Tigers know they must test themselves early and often to prepare for a strong playoff run each season. After falling in the championship game two years ago in the Dallas Mavs Fall Classic held in Frisco, the Tigers returned to play some of the top teams in the state. The Tigers finished 2-2 in some very competitive games and found several key areas to improve upon moving forward. Kelcey Morris was named the All-Tournament Team averaging 12.5 points per game on 50% shooting from the field and 2.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.8 steals.
Mount Pleasant 45
Dallas Spruce 42
The Tigers drew a tough test in their opening game against Spruce, who was athletic and very stingy on the defensive end. Mount Pleasant was able to force 24 turnovers but only converted 13 points on the extra possessions. An early 9-2 advantage dissipated as the Tigers found their lead shrink to 19-18 at the half. The game remained close throughout the second half as the Tigers did just enough to win the third and fourth quarters for the slim win and advance to the winner’s side of the bracket. Payton Chism’s 8 points were a balanced scoring attack followed by Ervin Mickens and Will Hills with 7 points each. Elijah Morris and Kelcey Morris each added 6 points, and Edward Wilder put up 5 points. Xavier Hills and Reggie Webster had 3 points each.
Mount Pleasant 76
El Paso 45
The second game of the day saw the ball go through the hoop a little easier as the Tigers had their best offensive output of the young season. Mount Pleasant shot 51% from the field and scored 46 points in the paint as they found themselves up 43-27 at the half and cruised the rest of the way. Kelcey Morris had a season-high 13 points, with Payton Chism adding 11 points. Will Hills also scored in double figures with 10 points. Kai Price scored 9 points in the closing seconds of the first half with back-to-back-to-back three-pointers to single-handedly put the Tigers on a 9-0 run. Other scorers were Johnny Smith 8 points, Edward Wilder 7 points, Xavier Hills 6 points, Elijah Morris 5 points, Kyler Smith 4 points, and Ervin Mickens 3 points.
14 Mount Pleasant 52
11 Mansfield Legacy 63
In what could be an early-season playoff preview, the Tigers faced off with a perennial playoff team and state-ranked opponent. Legacy won a state championship just a few seasons ago and still competes strongly in one of the toughest districts in the area. The game was back and forth as expected as the Tigers managed a slim 16-15 lead after the first quarter. Four lead changes occurred in the second quarter as both teams traded blows and saw Legacy use a 6-0 run late to take a 27-24 lead at the half. The depth of Legacy played a crucial down the stretch as the Tigers fought hard but didn’t have enough left in the tank to overtake the Mansfield team in the end. Payton Chism led the Tigers with 17 points. Will Hills notched his first double-double with 14 points and 11 boards, and Kelcey Morris added 13 points. Also, Reggie Webster 3 points, Ervin Mickens 2 points, Kai Price 2 points, and Edward Wilder 2 points.
Mount Pleasant 66
McKinney Boyd 67
Expulsing most of their energy in their earlier game that day, Mount Pleasant came out sluggish against a sharp-shooting McKinney Boyd squad in the third-place round of the Mavs Fall Classic. Boyd jumped out to the 41-26 advantage in the first half with 18 points from a long distance. Boyd extended their lead further to 55-34, heading into the final frame before the Tigers decided they had finally had enough. The Tiger defense ratcheted up the pressure and stormed back, putting up 32 points in the quarter and repeatedly turning over the Boyd ball handlers. With 8 seconds left, Kelcey Morris drove the lane with a high arching shot off the glass that gave the Tigers a 66-65 lead, their first of the game. Boyd, however, pushed the ball down the floor and was able to connect on a jump shot in the paint with just under three seconds left. Unfortunately, the Tigers were out of timeouts. A last-second heave would miss its mark as the Tigers fell short in a valiant comeback to end the tournament. Kelcey Morris topped his previous scoring high with 18 points, three assists, and two steals, while Payton Chism filled the stat sheet with 17 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and eight steals. Will Hills added 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and four steals. Elijah Morris also finished in double figures with 10 points shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the field. Other scorers were Ervin Mickens, Kai Price, and Edward Wilder, with two points each.
The Tigers’ current record stands at 3-2 as they look to improve their resume on Saturday against Greenville. All three teams will play with the freshmen set to tipoff at 2:00 pm, followed by the JV at 3:15 and the Varsity at 4:30 pm. Jo’s Coffee will also be in-house selling hot and cold brew drinks.