Boys basketball: Odd ending doesn't detract from Morris Shootout

Plainfield South’s Caleb Navarro works the ball up-court against Morris at the 37th Morris Boys Shootout on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

MORRIS – For the better part of two days, the 37th Morris Boys Shootout ran as smoothly as ever.

Unfortunately, there was a slight glitch at the end of the tournament. On Wednesday, DeKalb had reached the title game of the Championship Bracket, where they were to take on Morton. The Barbs, who were playing with a short-handed roster to begin with, had suffered an injury during the semifinals. Therefore, they did not want to risk injury to any other players or force them to play more minutes than they already were and forfeited the title game, giving Morton the championship.

“It is an unfortunate ending,” Morris basketball coach and tournament director Joe Blumberg said. “Given the forecast leading into this week, I feel like we lucked out with the weather, and it was not as hot as previous tournaments we’ve had.

“I feel bad for Morton that they weren’t able to win the title on the court like they wanted to, but safety was an issue for DeKalb, and we certainly understand that.”

The 32-team, two-day event was a success for area teams, both in the sense of wins and losses as well as taking positive steps toward getting ready for the coming season.

Plainfield South

The Cougars went 2-1 in Tuesday’s pool play to get placed in the Gold Bracket for Wednesday. They beat Bloomington Central Catholic in the bracket quarterfinals before dropping a 56-55 overtime decision to Marmion in the semifinals. They trailed by as many as eight points late in the game, but a pair of key 3-pointers by Caleb Navarro helped them rally to tie it at the end of regulation.

“We have some players to replace,” Plainfield South coach Jeff Howard said. “We are still a work in progress, but we have played all over this summer. We played in Chicago, in Romeoville and at this tournament.

“A lot of the guys are seniors, so they have played together for a while, but they are doing very well working together. We still have some work to do, but that’s what summer is for. We need the work on the court, and we need to evaluate the players.”

Minooka’s Brady Hairald makes a move against Marmion at the 37th Morris Boys Shootout on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.


The Indians went 1-2 in Tuesday’s pool play and got a spot in Wednesday’s Maroon Bracket. Despite a depleted roster, they began the day with a loss to Oak Forest before finishing with a win over Morris.

“We played a lot of younger guys [Wednesday],” Minooka coach Brett Hespell said. “That was nice because we want to give as many kids as much time as possible over the summer. With this being my second year, we were able to focus more on execution rather than teaching what we want to do.

“We have quite a bit of returning experience, so we are going to chase after things that happened very often at our school. We have only won two regional titles in school history, and that’s one of the goals that’s on our radar this year.”

Morris’ Trey Olson looks to pass out of pressure against Plainfield South at the 37th Morris Boys Shootout on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.


Morris went 1-2 in Tuesday’s pool play to gain a spot in Wednesday’s Maroon Bracket. They started with a loss to Oswego and finished the tournament with a loss to Minooka. They played both days without the services of Jack Wheeler, a University of Illinois baseball commit who was taking part in a baseball showcase in Arizona. Wheeler averaged 20 points a game for Morris last winter.

“With our baseball team taking third in the state this season, we gave the baseball guys on our team a week off this summer,” Morris coach Joe Blumberg said. “Then, our guys had to work six hours here at the shootout, either working the scoreboards or concession stand besides playing three games Tuesday and two Wednesday.

“Working all day at the shootout can drain you, and we tried to make sure all 17-18 guys got plenty of chances to play. But you could tell by Wednesday that they were dragging a bit. Hopefully this winter is when the hard work they put in this summer pays off.”


Burlington Central 50, Pontiac 43; Dundee-Crown 47, Sandwich 36; Tolono Unity 67, Streator 63; Normal U-High 52, Ottawa 40; Oswego 59, Morris 39; Oak Forest 37, Minooka 34; Eastland 62, Belvidere 42; Galesburg 51, Lake Park 39; Burlington Central 56, Normal U-High 42; Tolono Unity 49, Dundee-Crown 36; Pontiac 33, Ottawa 27; Sandwich 48, Streator 43; Minooka 51, Morris 34; Lake Park 64, Belvidere 30; Oswego 63, Oak Forest 57; Galesburg 67, Eastland 61; Tolono Unity 58, Burlington Central 54; Oswego 63, Galesburg 61; Benet Academy 46, Neuqua Valley 45; DeKalb 57, Bolingbrook 46; Morton 65, Deerfield 55; Waybonsie Valley 59, Loyola 42; Plainfield South 51, Bloomington Central Catholic 46; Marmion Academy 62, Joliet Central 57; Lake Forest 61, Plainfield North 35; Collinsville 56, Kankakee 55; Bolingbrook 76, Neuqua Valley 46; Marmion Academy 56, Plainfield South 55 (OT); Collinsville 38, Lake Forest 50; Collinsville 74, Marmion Academy 40.