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New Pal's Morris opts for Lake Erie

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NEW PALESTINE — New Palestine High School senior Michael Morris has committed to play basketball at Lake Erie College, an NCAA Div. II school near Cleveland.

The 6-foot-6 forward averaged 19.8 points and 6.3 rebounds this season. He was the Hoosier Heritage Conference’s leading scorer, and also led the HHC in 3-point shooting with a a 46.3% clip. He shot 52 percent from the field and 78 percent from the line.

“From the second I got on campus, they made me feel like I was at home,” Morris said of his college selection. “The coaches are amazing. Coach (Cliff) Hunt reminds me of coach (Adam) Barton. Both pretty laid back and don’t yell much at all.”

Hunt is the head coach at Lake Erie, a Division II school in Painesville, Ohio. The Storm compete in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Under the guidance of New Palestine head coach Adam Barton, Morris scored a career-high 37 points in the season opener against Jennings County, and also had two more 30-point games later in the season.

Morris is fourth on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,027 career points.

“We are really excited to see Michael sign with Lake Erie College,” Barton said. “Michael has been a very big part of our program over the last few years and we wish him the best at Lake Erie.”

The Storm went 8-18 this season.

On the high school court this winter, Morris led the Dragons to a 15-6 record and the school’s first outright Hoosier Heritage Conference championship this season. He was a three-year starter and four-year varsity performer. During his career, the Dragons won two sectional championships — in 2011 in Class 3A and a Class 4A sectional in 2012 — two Hancock County championships and a conference championship.

Morris was named to the Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 60 workout, and was a first-team IBCA Academic All-State performer.

Tuesday, he was named High Honorable Mention All-State by the Associated Press.

Morris is eager to begin the next phase of his playing career.

“The guys on the team were all welcoming and said great things about it,” he said. “And I feel like I have a great opportunity

Information provided by New Palestine Athletic Department was used in this story.

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