In a match-up of lethal one-two punches, the twins came out on top in the Jordan Brand Classic Regional game. Brothers Marcus and Markieff Morris, from Apex Academy and headed to Kansas this fall, combined for 36 points to lead the Suburban team past the City team, 129-127.
The City got 36 points and 16 rebounds from Christ the King's Ryan Pearson and 20 points and 11 assists from the same school's Erving Walker, but it wasn't enough to eke out the victory. The Suburban team – which blew a 13-point lead -- overcame a six-point deficit in the game's final 1:06 to score the narrow victory.
Suburban appeared to grab the first hint of momentum in the up-and-down slugfest when Quintrell Thomas, also off to Kansas in the fall, scored to make it a 19-13 lead for the 'Burbs with 15:06 left in the first. Boys & Girls guard Patrick Jackson – signed with Rutgers – led the City back however, scoring seven during an 11-4 stretch that put the City up 24-23.
The teams went back and forth until 6:22 remained in the half. Then, with the Suburban team ahead 43-40, the Morris brothers reeled off nine straight points to put the 'Burbs up a dozen. The City, thanks to six straight by Pearson to end the half, played even with the Suburbs for the rest of the half, and trailed 69-57 at the break.
A bucket by Syracuse-bound swingman Mookie Jones gave Suburban its biggest lead of the game at 77-61 with 18:17 left in the second. Walker then assisted on back-to-back field goals to cut the lead back to 12, a free throw with 16:54 remaining by Stanford-bound guard Jarrett Mann put Suburban ahead 82-69.
At that point, though, the City team began to settle into a groove. Walker dropped in a fast break lay-up, then he and Holy Cross guard Blaise Ffrench hit consecutive threes to trim the Suburban lead to five. The 'Burbs eventually went back ahead by nine at 91-82 with 12:25 to go, but a follow by Jackson and four points by Providence-bound forward Bilal Dixon made it a three-point game.
Suburban managed to stretch the lead back to nine at 108-99 with 6:36 remaining, but Walker and Pearson buoyed the City with 12 points during a 14-3 run that put the City up 113-111 with 3:36 left. West Virginia-bound forward Kevin Jones tied the game up for the Suburbs, but Pearson made a pair of field goals to give the City a four-point lead.
Jackson dunked on a fast break off an assist from Walker with 1:06 to go, giving the City a 125-119 advantage.
Pittsburgh-bound guard Travon Woodall, though, scored five straight points to pull Suburban within one. Then, after Walker split a pair of free throws, Woodall found Markieff Morris on the right wing for a three to put Suburban ahead, 127-126 with 34 seconds remaining. Walker then missed a three, and Woodall split a pair of free throws on the other end.
Pearson drove the baseline and was fouled by Markieff Morris with 11 seconds to go, putting the George Mason-bound forward on the line with a chance to tie the game. After hitting the first freebie, however, Pearson missed the second, and Kevin Jones corralled the rebound for Suburban.
Jiovanny Fontan made one of two after a City foul, giving the City one last shot, but Walker missed a contested three at the buzzer, allowing the Suburban team to escape with a 129-127 victory.
Seven players scored in double figures for the Suburbs, led by Marcus Morris' 20. Markieff added 16, Kevin Jones registered a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double, and Jordan Theodore chipped in 15 for the victors. Aside from Pearson's 36/16 and Walker's 20/11, Jackson had a strong showing, tallying 20 points and eight boards.