SULLIVAN TWP. — Oberlin guard Morgan Jones is more than capable of winning basketball games by himself, which he almost accomplished Tuesday night.
The electric senior scored 22 of his game-high 41 points in the fourth quarter, but Black River answered with enough offense of its own to post an 83-69 Patriot Athletic Conference victory.
“I’ve seen Morgan in magazines and read about him in the newspaper, but still, he was insane tonight,” raved Pirates forward Miguel Quintela, who had 20 points and a game-best 13 rebounds. “It doesn’t matter if you put your hands in his face, play great man to man defense or throw everything else at him, he’s a pure scorer.
“I’m just happy everyone on our side executed the way they did because we wouldn’t have won without playing a great team basketball game.”
The surging Pirates (7-2, 3-1) overcame Jones’ epic evening with 28 fourth-quarter points of their own, which was just one less than their cross-divisional foe.
They also placed four players in double figures in scoring, led by senior David Gentry’s 22 points. Fellow guard Curtis Klosski chipped in a career-high 11, while Carl Younglas scored 10 off the bench.
The Phoenix (6-4, 2-3), meanwhile, only got 28 points from their nine athletes not named Jones. Guard Timothy Hill had 10 off the bench, while Jeris Geiger contributed seven points and nine rebounds.
Oberlin fell behind 18-9 after one quarter and dug a 51-28 hole midway through the third before its franchise player became a one-man dynamo. It wasn’t enough, however, as the Pirates made just enough free throws to keep the game out of reach.
“Black River played an excellent game,” Oberlin coach Kurt Russell said. “I think we were a little shocked in the beginning with how well they started, but you’re going to get that with a very young team like we have.
“We would play well for around three-minute stretches, then go back to playing basketball like we’ve never played before in our lives.”
Jones’ 41-point explosion was the third-highest of his career — falling well short of the 52 he rung up on Brooklyn earlier this winter — and came on 13-of-33 field goals, 4-of-11 3-pointers and 11-of-15 free throws.
The 5-foot-10 slasher also had seven rebounds, two assists, nine turnovers and scored an almost unheard-of six-point play. The latter occurred with 3:58 left when Black River picked up an intentional foul and a technical foul, which also gave Oberlin possession after the free throws.
Jones made 3-of-4 free throws, then buried a 3-pointer as soon as play resumed.
“Jones is a great player, for sure, and he made a couple of shots that I couldn’t believe went in,” Gentry said. “He’s a nice kid, too, who showed good sportsmanship. That made it a lot of fun playing against him.”
The Pirates also got 10 rebounds from center Jon Sas, while Anthony Barnhill grabbed eight rebounds for the Phoenix.
The teams combined for 59 turnovers, 46 fouls and 56 free throw attempts on the small floor, but to their credit, never allowed tempers to flare.
“Oberlin is one of the best teams we’ve faced this year and Morgan Jones is a special player,” Black River coach Bryan Morgan said. “To come up with 83 points and have everyone play well in a win, it’s big for us, no question about it.”
Contact Brian Dulik at (330) 721-4059 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Black River 83, Oberlin 69
OBERLIN (69): Dominic Taylor 2-1-5, Zach Robey 0-0-0, Anthony Barnhill 2-0-4, Morgan Jones 13-11-41, Jereis Geiger 3-1-7, Timothy Hill 3-1-10, Alfonso Allen 0-0-0, Carlos Rodriguez 0-0-0, Dorian Pretlow 0-0-0, Gilbert Harris 1-0-2. Totals 24-14-69.
BLACK RIVER (83): Miguel Quintela 7-6-20, Jacob O’Connor 2-0-5, Jon Sas 3-1-7, Curtis Klosski 4-3-11, David Gentry 6-8-22, Anthony O’Connor 2-3-7, Carl Younglas 3-3-10, David Metzger 0-1-1, Ryan Coleman 0-0-0. Totals 27-25-83.
Oberlin 9 17 14 29 — 69
Black River 18 19 18 28 — 83
Three-point goals: (O) Jones 4, Hill 3; (BR) J. O’Connor, Gentry 2, Younglas. Rebounds: Oberlin 39 (Geiger 8); Black River 40 (Quintela 13). Assists: Oberlin 7 (Geiger 3); Black River 16 (J. O’Connor 4). Turnovers: Oberlin 29; Black River 30. Total fouls: Oberlin 27; Black River 19. Fouled out: Barnhill, Taylor.
Junior varsity: Black River, 49-15.