Simpson scores 36 as East cruises to victory over West Ridge

Morristown East’s Micah Simpson is back to what has become his normal scoring ways.

After getting just nine points in the previous game, Simpson matched his career high by gunning in 36 Monday night at Isenberg-Siler Gym to lead the Hurricanes to an 86-60 rout of West Ridge.

It was the eighth victory without a loss for Coach Alden Collins’ team, which faces a big challenge on the road at Knox Bearden tonight.

East poured in 55.9 percent from the floor including 13 of 29 three’s. The ‘Canes hits 66.7 (20 of 30 two-point attempts). Cooper Johnson was the only player in double figures as the Wolves fell to 6-3 for the season.

West Ridge hit 38.9 from the floor by making 23 of 59 including 10 of 26 behind the arc. The visitors had a 36-34 rebounding edge as Jackson Dean and Ty Barb led the way with eight each. Aiden Goins pulled down eight for East with Caleb Hall adding seven and Ilic five.

After scoring in the 30’s for the fifth time this season, Simpson now has 212 points for a 26.2 average and is still chasing the school scoring record of Marshall Mills. Mills recorded 2058 for his career and Simpson now has 1638.

“This was a good win for us,” said Collins. “West Ridge is a good team and a physical team. We haven’t necessarily seen that yet this season.

“But I was proud of our guys for battling through a different type of game for us,” Collins continued. “It was definitely a test for us. You have to play four good quarters to beat good teams like that.

“Micah had a great night shooting the ball and we had others shoot it from long range,” he remarked. “For us to hit 13 three’s as a team has to be good shooting.

“We didn’t have the great start like we had been but we came on in the second quarter and was able to build a good lead at halftime,” added the coach. “We also got to play a lot of people and that was important with another big game coming on Tuesday.”

Simpson finished the night 7 of 12 on three-point attempts and hit all but one of his six two-point attempts including an emphatic dunk after a steal late in the first period.

The Hurricanes gunned in 13 three-pointers in the convincing victory. Kyle Cloninger and Tyson Frost added 10 points each for East while Caleb Hall had eight, Braden Ilic seven and Cooper Wright six.

Simpson and Hall had six each in the first quarter as East took a 20-17 lead at the first rest stop. Two of Hall’s baskets came on layups after passes from Simpson.

Barb scored the first basket of the second frame to get the Wolves within one but the ‘Canes ran off 13 unanswered points to break the game open.

Simpson and Cooper Wright hit three’s and Simpson had two other buckets in the spurt. Johnson hit a triple for the Wolves but Simpson, Cloninger and Keegan Mink scored for east and it was 39-22. Simpson’s three at the buzzer gave the Hurricanes a commanding 45-26 lead at intermission.

East led by as many as 21 in the third quarter when Simpson gunned in three more three’s and added another bucket. It was 66-45 at the final stop.

Tyson Frost hit two three’s with Simpson and Carter Gilliam adding one each and the ‘Canes led by as many as 33 after a tip-in by Goins with 1:45 left put them up 86-53 before the Wolves scored the final seven points.