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Local Sports

February 28, 2013

Morris boys ride hot streak into final

ONEONTA — Reserve forward Brandon Shelly wheeled the ball from the top of the key to the left side, where junior varsity call-up Cameron Hill calmly swished a three-point field goal at the buzzer.

It was just that kind of night for the Morris boys basketball team, which had everything go its way in a 77-39 Section Four Class D semifinal rout of Hunter-Tannersville on Wednesday at Oneonta State.

“We were really hot tonight,” said senior guard Mike DeLuca, who scored the first points on a transition layup 45 seconds into the semifinal. Top-seeded Morris (18-1) scored the next 10 points, too, en route to a 24-8 lead after one quarter. “We like to push it. We’ve had back-to-back 77-point games now. That’s how we want to play.”

Fourth-seeded Hunter-Tannersville of the Delaware League missed its first five shots before Elijah Ruoff scored from the left block with 4:15 left in the first quarter. That made the score 12-2, which Morris extended to 16-2 with consecutive baskets by Skylar Maricle and Kerry Smith less than a minute later.

Therein lied the problem for the Wildcats (15-5), who may have been expecting big games from top Morris scorers DeLuca and Levi Decker but probably weren’t looking to shut down players such as Maricle, Smith and Cody Meyers.

“Andrew Staib was having a good game, too,” Morris coach Dave Sander said. “He scored six points in a couple of minutes and then hurt his back. But we were still finding open guys. I think they did a lot of focusing on MIke and Levi.”

If that was the case, it didn’t matter all that much.

DeLuca finished with 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Mustangs, who received 13 points, eight rebounds and three three-pointers from Decker. Morris also received a game-best 16 points from Maricle — who scored half of his total in the first quarter — along with eight points and five steals from Smith.

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