NEWBURYPORT — Senior point guard Colby Morris returned to the Newburyport boys basketball squad (8-3), and helped play the role of a bad host to Ipswich (2-10) at home yesterday.
Things went according to plan for the Clippers, caging the Tigers 50-39.
Morris, who served a five-game MIAA violation suspension to start his new year, showed no rust on the court, leading his team in points with 15, and had the assistance of fellow seniors Colt Fontaine, who had 14, and Ian Michaels, who had eight after dropping 26 against Amesbury on Friday.
“We said before the game, we’re simply adding a piece, we’re not changing the way we’re going to play the game,” Clippers coach Tom L’Italien said of Morris’ return. “Everyone has got to play their roles. Some minutes are going to be sacrificed, some shots are going to be sacrificed. But ultimately, the quicker we realize that, the quicker we can get there. We can have a nice second-half push. Ultimately, it falls on the kids. They have to be their best, and we have a lot of depth now.”
Tigers junior guard Matt Vargas stared the day sinking his team’s first two points n the first minute, followed by Michaels’ first bucket. Tiger Nate Glaster sunk a pair next, followed by Morris’ first 3-pointer which was followed by another and then another in succession. Vargas remained hot, and his Tigers kept shooting well enough to end the period only two points behind, 15-13.
Newburyport’s Drew Bourdeau started the second period off with two to put his boys up three, which is exactly what Michaels sunk next to make it a six-point lead. Sophomore standout Mike Shay grabbed four next with a pair of beautiful drives, followed by a pair courtesy of Fontaine for 12 unanswered Clipper points. Vargas had two more as Newburyport headed for a 10-point, 28-18 lead at the half.