Crowe's layup in final seconds lifts Dale

Keven Scrutchins
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
Dayton Forsythe looks for an opening in the Morrison defense Thursday in the opening round of the Class 2A State Tournament at the Jim Norick State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.

OKLAHOMA CITY- Survive and advance.

The Dale Pirates hung on to defeat the Morrison Wildcats 61-60 in the first round of the Class 2A State Basketball Tournament Thursday morning in the Big House.

Trailing 60-59 after Morrison’s Jalen Powell sank two free throws, Dale inbounded the ball to freshman Dayton Forsythe, who dribbled to halfcourt and then fired a bullet pass to a wide open Carter Crowe who hit the winning layup with five seconds left on the clock. The Wildcats threw the ball the length of the court, but Dale’s defense denied any shot attempt as the final horn sounded.

The two teams battled back and forth for the entire 32 minutes of play. They shared the lead five times and accounted for 12 lead changes. Morrison’s largest lead, of four points, came in the third quarter and Dale’s largest advantage of seven points was developed in the second.

Morrison led 16-15 after the first quarter, before Crowe got his offensive game cooking in the second. Crowe scored 10 points in the frame, helping build the Dale lead to 27-20 with 3:21 left in the half. Morrison held Dale scoreless the remainder of the half and cut the Lead to 27-25 at the half.

The Wildcats, in the third, built their biggest lead of 39-35 after a Gabe Battles reverse layup with 3:31 left. Battles erupted for eight third-quarter points. Dale had an answer and it came in the form of two freshmen.

Dayton Forsythe scored seven third-quarter points, but back-to-back treys by Deken Jones really ignited the Pirates.

Jones hit a corner trey with :30 left in the third and Morrison was called for a foul underneath the goal which resulted in another possession for Dale. Jones found himself open in the same spot eight seconds later and drained another trey with :22 left, giving Dale a 47-43 lead and all kinds of momentum heading into the final eight minutes of play.

In the fourth, Dale built the lead back up to six points on three separate occasions and the senior Forsythe brother was right in the middle of the fourth quarter mix. Dallen Forsythe scored eight of his 13-points in the final quarter.

The Pirates, in the final minute of play, had opportunities to find breathing room, but a turnover and two missed front ends of one-and-one free-throw attempts kept the Wildcats within striking distance.

Morrison hit two treys, and went five-for-five from the line in the final three minutes of play to keep things tight.

“We had some chances to pull away down the stretch, but two missed one-and-ones and we had a couple of turnovers that kept it close,” said Dale head coach Jeff Edmonson. “It was a battle and we survived and advanced.”

Crowe and Dayton Forsythe led the Pirates with 20 points each. Dallen Forsythe added 13 points and Jones finished with six. Morrison was led by Powell who scored a game-high 24 points. Brody Roe scored 16 and Battles finished with 14 for the Wildcats. As a team the Pirates shot 62% from the field but were just 5-of-21 from beyond the arc for 23% long-range shooting. Dale out-rebounded Morrison 26-23.