Future pummels Parkway West, even with Morales' season-low output

Posted: January 15, 2014

NOT ALL SCORERS are created equal. Some might light the scoreboard but also greedily fire shots in bulk without regard for time and score, which can disrupt team chemistry and lead to losses.

School of the Future junior Dominick Morales is wary of being that guy.

Yesterday, the Public League's leading scorer dropped a season-low 23 points in the 73-41 destruction of visiting Parkway West.

Morales (who averages 33.6) might still top a talented list of city scorers, but guess how impressed he is with himself?

"It really doesn't mean anything to me," he said. "I think, to me, it means that I need to do the other stuff more, because when we play more competitive teams they're going to key on me, and I'll have to find ways to get my teammates involved."

The Firebirds (13-2, 6-0), didn't need the score-in-bunches Morales yesterday. So the 6-2 wing focused his energy down low and snatched 15 rebounds. And there were plenty of missed shots in this Public E matchup.

Parkway West (6-5, 5-3) shot 14-for-48 (29.1 percent) and 3-for-14 from three (21.4 percent). Add 10 of 22 from the foul line and 20 turnovers, and you have blowout city. Sophomore guard John Herndon led the way with 26 (8-for-29).

Future didn't exactly produce a masterpiece, but a 29-for-69 (42 percent) performance overcame 4-for-16 (25 percent) from three and 11 of 17 (64.7 percent) from the line.

If Future's opening 9-2 run in the first quarter didn't take care of things, outscoring PW by 13-1 in the second did.

Morales netted only three points in the first frame, but scored the Firebirds' first nine of the second.

His repertoire was varied. A hard drive and lefthand finish started the spurt with a three-point play. A spin baseline into a short jumper netted two more, and a pair of lane layups finished it off.

PW finally scored on a Nasir Madison freebie at the 1:29 mark.

"Today, I knew they were going to key on me," Morales said. "I tried to take what they gave me. I did force it a little and got some turnovers, but for the most part I was trying to get my teammates shots and do what I could to help facilitate the win."

Morales said his school-record, 45-point performance against Penn Treaty last week resulted from wide-open shots, not please-notice-me chucking. He broke the mark set by Saadiq Berry (38) in 2009. Parkway West's Herndon also set a school record with 48 earlier this season (besting Stephen Stewart's 42 in 1989).

The most exciting play of the game came after Morales missed a three with seconds remaining in the third. The ball trickled off the rim and was tipped in by Future's 6-3 junior big man, Chancy Scott, as the buzzer sounded.

Future led, 57-20, so it wasn't exactly earth-shattering, but the crowd sure ate it up.

"That was big," Morales said. "Chancy doesn't have as much lift as the other guys, but he plays hard for the athleticism that he has. For as big as he is, he plays as hard as he can. No matter how many minutes he plays, you'll get all he has."

Scott finished with 10 rebounds and four points. Junior wings Kameron Gilfillian and Nick Miles chipped in 15 and 11, respectively, while senior guard Ronald Thomas netted 12.

After missing the playoffs by one game in his last two seasons, Morales said postseason play, not racking up points, occupies his mind.

"That's a big motivation for me," he said. "I don't know about everybody else. We have some laid-back guys. But, when it comes to the outcome of the game . . . When we lose, I don't talk to anybody. I'm in the locker room, heated."

College coaches have yet to take much notice, but Morales reports interest from Gwynedd-Mercy University. He started off as a baseball player (first baseman), then fell into basketball while rehabbing a meniscus tear.

An August basement fire damaged his Mayfair home last year, so he's been staying with relatives while his mother, Annamarie Torres, and siblings stay in Bensalem until the repairs are completed.

With that as the backdrop, Morales said a college opportunity would mean more than just a chance to continue playing basketball.

"It is a great goal of mine," he said. "If I can get a college scholarship and go to school for free, it would help with everything, especially because of the tight spot we're in."

On Twitter: @AceCarterDN

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