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Ellsworth edges Ulysses to take Amos Morris Boys Championship

The Ellsworth Bearcats pose for a picture with the championship trophy.  The Ellsworth Bearcats...
The Ellsworth Bearcats pose for a picture with the championship trophy. The Ellsworth Bearcats defeated the Ulysses Tigers by a score of 53 to 48 in the Championship game of the Amos Morris Classic Basketball Tournament held at Amos Morris Gymnasium in Russell, Kansas on December 12, 2020. (Photo: Joey Bahr, www.joeybahr.com)(Joey Bahr | (Photo: Joey Bahr, www.joeybahr.)
Published: Dec. 13, 2020 at 6:06 PM CST
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RUSSELL, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The Ellsworth Bearcats held out for a 53 to 48 victory over the Ulysses Tigers to win the 2020 Amos Morris Classic in Russell.

The two teams met in the final game of the 2020 early-season tournament.

Ellsworth scored first.  For the first half of the first quarter, they would trade the lead with Ulysses.  When the buzzer sounded to end the quarter, the Bearcats led 12 to 11.

The Bearcat defense showed up in the second quarter holding Ulysses to 10 points of scoring.   Ellsworth added 17 points to their score.

The largest lead for the Bearcats came in this quarter with a 13 point difference.  The Tigers did score more towards the end of the quarter to narrow Ellsworth’s advantage to 29 to 21 at halftime.

In the second half, Ulysses began to chip away at the Bearcat advantage.  By the end of the third quarter, they only trailed 43 to 38.

With 4:16 left in the game, Ulysses took a one-point lead.  Ellsworth quickly scored to regain the lead.

The Bearcats would stretch the lead to five points at times.  Ulysses would claw back and trim it to three or two points.  They could not find the defensive stop to allow them to retake the lead.

“We had high hopes for this with a good bunch of Seniors,” said Ellsworth Head Coach Ryan Webber.  “Ulysses played hard and they played good defense.  We had to fight hard tonight, but it was a good win.”

“We knew we were going to get with it on defense to get back in the game,” said Ulysses Head Coach Ryan Wagner.  “We answered the call but came up a few plays short.”

Avery Haxton of Ellsworth led all scorers with 25 points.  Braden Schulte added 14 points.

For Ulysses, Lance Walked scored the most with 16 points.  Aaron Galindo and Ryan Nightengale both tallied 11 points.

In the rest of the boys’ bracket games on Saturday, Plainville took seventh place with a 60 to 43 win over Smith Center.  Phillipsburg defeated St. John’s-Tipton 62 to 32 for fifth place.  Russell brought home third with a 60 to 28 victory over Central Plains.

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