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Eagles overcome rough start to win Tournament of Champions

The Del City boys basketball team celebrates after winning the Tournament of Champions Wednesday night at the BOK Center in Tulsa. Photo by Buck Ringgold

TULSA — A once 15-0 deficit turned into Del City’s second consecutive Tournament of Champions title Wednesday night at the BOK Center.

The third-ranked Eagles outscored 5A No. 1 Tulsa Memorial 54-29 in the second, third and fourth quarters to upset the Chargers, 59-49.

“(Tulsa Memorial is) extremely good, and I wouldn’t say that we spotted them anything,” Del City coach Lenny Hatchett said. “At the start, I didn’t know how it was going to go, I’m gonna tell you right now, it was ugly. We didn’t play no type of defense.”

The Eagles spent the second quarter gradually recovering what they lost during the first, cutting the Chargers’ lead to 30-22 at the half. Terry McMorris, who was named tournament MVP, scored 9 points in the second quarter.

“I just told them at half, ‘guys, if we can go in at half at least down to single-digits, we can come out here and compete and maybe give ourselves a chance to win, and that’s exactly what we did.”

The Eagles came out swinging in the second half, chipping away piece by piece until a layup courtesy of Jaedon Foreman, who shared the all-tournament list with McMorris, gave Del City its first lead of the game, 42-40, with seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Del City’s Percy Green shoots over Memorial’s Ty Frierson. Photo by Brett Rojo for the Tulsa World

“When we moved (Foreman) to the point this year, people thought I was crazy, but I’ve always believed in that young man,” said Hatchett about the Oklahoma State football commit, who finished with 15 points in the championship game. “He’s been a winner ever since we had him.”

After that, the Eagles and Chargers traded scores in a sequence that included five ties, but the Eagles never budged again on the lead. A Percy Green layup with just under three minutes to go put Del City up 51-47, and the Chargers were consequently forced to foul.

“(Tulsa Memorial is) a pretty good team, like a really good team,” McMorris said. “But, we executed, got stops, and scored.”

The game broke open as Brandon Garrison, whose four blocks and three assists led the Eagles in both categories, scored 7 points in the closing minutes to lift Del City to a cushion.

“This moment right here is just going to teach us a lot of lessons as we continue throughout the season,” Hatchett said.

McMorris and Garrison each finished with double doubles. McMorris’s 19 points and 14 rebounds led all players in both categories, and Garrison added 11 points, 10 rebounds.

“It means a lot, you know, our game plan was good,” McMorris said, “and we executed. It was just good.”

Green and Garrison were named to the all-tournament second team.

Lenny Hatchett coaches the Del City boys basketball team during the finals of the Tournament of Champions on Wednesday. Photo by Brett Rojo for the Tulsa World

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