Pelham coach Crosby Morrison leads North to win in North-South All-Star Game

Published 6:19 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

MONTGOMERY – Pelham girls basketball coach Crosby Morrison capped off another impressive year with a dominant win at the North-South All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 18 in Montgomery.

The North All-Stars won 80-44 over the South All-Stars thanks to 15 points from Hewitt-Trussville’s Jordan Hunter and 14 from Pleasant Grove’s Tamya Smith. Hazel Green’s Sydney Steward scored 11 points and her teammate Leah Brooks added nine.

Morrison coached the North alongside Rogers head coach Blake Prestage. Thanks in part to her coaching, the North forced 26 turnovers in the game to earn the win and extend their all-time record in the series to 23-3.

Morrison earned the honor thanks to another fantastic season at the helm of Pelham. She and the Panthers reached the Elite Eight for the second straight season, which earned herself a share of the 2023 Shelby County Coach of the Year award after winning it outright in 2022.

Her successful four-year stretch with Pelham came after a rough patch for the girls basketball program, which had only won seven games before Morrison arrived but has now achieved three straight winning seasons.

Now, with Morrison at the helm, Pelham has transformed from afterthought to regional powerhouse in girls basketball and the expectation is now to compete for a state championship every year.

She has also developed multiple college basketball players, including the program’s first Division I commitment, Karma Wynn, who announced her decision to play for Tulane on Friday, July 14 and will return for the Panthers next season, as well as Pelham’s all-time leading scorer and future UAH Charger Laci Gogan.

In 2022-23, Pelham navigated a difficult schedule that included multiple playoff teams, with the 7A state champion and several Sweet 16 teams among those. The Panthers went a step beyond the Sweet 16 by reaching the Elite Eight after winning the regional championship behind strong performances by its players and solid coaching.

Now, the Panthers will return a talented core next season and aim to return to the Final Four in Birmingham.