Mount Zion Takes Home Title
On Friday night, Charlotte Latin coach Jerry Faulkner won his 600th game. On Saturday, 601 was within his grasp until early in the fourth quarter.
Latin led by a deuce at halftime on the strength of super game plan, clutch shooting and opportunistic rebounding. Multiple defenses from a man-to-man set to a 1-3-1 alignment had Mount Zion reeling. Latin dictated the tempo, did a nice job of taking the air out of the ball and limiting possessions and made shots. They were as patient a team as could be.
Meanwhile, the Warriors' Albert Webber seemed to be the only player who had any success solving Latin's defensive riddles in the first half. He simply lost himself in the corners and made some 3s.
Anthony Morrow (23 points) wasn't shooting from the perimeter with the same success as he had early in the tournament, but he did everything else well. From guarding big post players, to hustling for loose balls and keeping possessions alive, he was playing at a high level.
After 24 minutes Latin had managed to stay within two points of the giants and led 43-41. Two minutes into the fourth quarter the tide turned. Latin showed signs of losing its composure. A bad shot here, a forced turnover there and all of the sudden Mount Zion had that small cushion it needed to win the championship.
Tournament MVP Martin Iti made 5-of-6 from the line in the final two minutes and the Warriors iced the win. Webber finished with 17 points and Dana Burns chipped in 16.
Latin's Chase Estep scored 19 points, most of them coming on 3s.
2003 Dell Curry Shootout Champions