COAL CITY — Morris won the first battle Tuesday night over St. Bede but the Bruins won the war, defeating the Redskins 47-45 at the 2012 Coaler Turkey Tournament.
The Redskins raced to a 10-0 three minutes in and were ahead 15-8 at the end of the first quarter in the varsity boys basketball opener for both teams. St. Bede drew within 24-23 at halftime and led 37-33 by the end of the third quarter.
Though Morris got the St. Bede lead down to a single point on three different occasions on the fourth quarter, the two-time defending champion Bruins stayed in front and gave coach Mike Kilmartin his 400th career victory.
"It's a two-point loss. We were in it, but we fell short," Morris coach Joe Blumberg said. "We knew we were going to win or we were going to learn, and there's plenty to learn from this one."
Sophomore guard Austin Patterson of Morris scored the first 7 points of his varsity career within the first 2:26 of his debut. Patterson had nine points by the end of the first quarter, 16 by halftime and 22 for the game. He was 9-of-13 from the floor and 2-of-2 from the foul line.
"I did not," Patterson said, when asked if he expected to score as much as he did Tuesday. "I just wanted to do whatever I could to help the team, and try to get other people looks as well."
Morris stayed ahead through the end of the first half despite playing most of it without senior forward Ben Ortiz, who picked up his second foul with 4:11 left in the first quarter and was benched until the start of the third. Ortiz, who was scoreless when he exited, finished the game with 14 points and eight rebounds.
"We tried to extend possessions to get us to half and keep the game close," Blumberg said of the stretch without Ortiz. "I'm sure when we look back at the film, we'll see some empty offensive possessions, but we stayed in the game."
An Ortiz three-pointer with 1:06 left in the third quarter drew the Redskins even for the final time before the Bruins ended the quarter on a 4-0 run. St. Bede's lead never got larger than 5 throughout the fourth quarter, but the Redskins never caught up. They did draw within a single possession on an Ortiz three-pointer with 13 seconds left, and got the ball back when the Bruins missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but Patterson's halfcourt try at the buzzer missed to seal their fate.