Ellicott's boys headed to state basketball tourney for first time in 17 years

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Despite Swink's best defensive efforts, senior Morgan Murray took control in overtime to lead Ellicott to its first state boys' basketball tournament berth in 17 years.

Murray scored four of his game-high 22 points in the extra period and assisted the other two baskets, including the game-winner by junior Matt Davidson with 33.8 seconds remaining, to lift Ellicott past the Lions 50-47 at the Colorado Springs City Auditorium. The two teams entered overtime of the 2A region 4 championship tied at 42-42.

"I am used to getting double-teamed so I know I needed to attack, break them down and get the ball to the open guy," said Murray, who is the first Ellicott player to score more than 1,000 career points (1,094, including Saturday).

That approach worked to perfection on the assist to Davidson. Murray split two Swink defenders up top, dribbled into the paint and spotted Robinson open, running along the baseline to break the 47-47 tie.

The key for Black Forest League champion Ellicott (20-4), which trailed for the first time early in the fourth quarter and again in overtime, was a good defensive performance.

"They like to push the ball so we slowed it down," said Davidson (17 points). "We didn't let them get into a good rhythm."

Coach Brian Murray knows his Hawks will need to perform better to succeed at the state tournament at Colorado State-Pueblo on Thursday-Saturday.

"We didn't play that well offensively," he said. "They put two guys on Morgan and, especially in the first half, our guys just stood on the 3-point line."

But Ellicott moved better away from the ball during the second half and overtime to overcome improved shooting by Swink (14-10), which was paced by 12 points from Collin O'Neal.

"(Swink) never let Morgan get to that third dribble before they collapsed on him," coach Murray said. "They played a great game."