ROCKVILLE — Guard Vado Morse’s 31-point performance, one that included six 3-pointers, helped Bullis defeat Quince Orchard, 51-44, in the Maryland Elite Summer League on Tuesday night.
Morse’s dominant outing helped Bullis earn the victory after a 48-32 loss to Quince Orchard in the league opener June 6.
“It’s really about that for us,” Bullis assistant coach Markus Townsend said about his team’s win serving as revenge. “What it just shows it that we’re making steady improvement to how we want to play this summer.”
Bullis played in The Basketball League at DeMatha Catholic High School last season, so Morse said his squad underestimated Quince Orchard initially because the players thought this league would be easier. They left the Jewish Day School that night on the wrong side of a 16-point game.
Whenever Quince Orchard tried to cut into its deficit in the second half, Morse delivered with a basket. He nailed back-to-back threes to put Bullis back up by double digits with 10 minutes remaining. With Bullis up seven and under seven minutes to go, Morse converted an acrobatic layup plus the foul. He buried a long ball from the corner on the next possession, further securing Bullis’ advantage.
“He’s very confident in his ability,” Townsend said. “Once he makes one, I feel like he’s going to make the next one and he’s going to make the next one.”
Guard Matthew Kelly poured in 17 points for Quince Orchard, but no other Cougars player scored more than eight. For Bullis, center CJ Ansellum and guard Josiah Matthews assisted Morse by scoring eight and seven points respectively.
Morse, despite admitting he was lollygagging, came out on fire from behind the arc. He said he felt he was hot following his first made basket, and he proceeded to make two more three-pointers in the opening minutes as Bullis raced out to a comfortable lead early.
More finished with 17 first-half points, yet Quince cut the lead to 27-20 at halftime.
“We thought the lead was sealed,” Morse said. “So we kind of backed off the energy.”
One of the areas Townsend said the team has been talking about all summer was having a defensive identity, and he admitted his players experienced a letdown towards the end of the first half.
After halftime, Townsend noticed his players competed with more intensity and executed on offense by sharing the ball. Bullis was able to play even with Quince Orchard in the second half to pick up its seventh win of the season.
A significant reason behind that was Morse, whose magnificent long-range shooting display helped Bullis defeat one of the best programs in the league.
“That’s the thing about him,” Townsend said. “He can really light it up. When he’s hot, you kind of just want to call stuff for him and get him more shots, get him more opportunities.”