WARWICK — Chas Morgan’s Westerly High basketball roots run very deep.
His father, Todd Morgan, and his uncle, Kevin Morgan, were both MVPs of the WCCU Holiday Basketball Tournament in the late 1980s. His dad was a first-team All-League selection his senior year.
His old brother, Max, is a former Westerly player.
And his grandfather, Vic, was on a state championship team that played in the New England Tournament in Boston Garden in the 1959-60 season.
His grandfather was one of five Bulldogs to average in double figures the following season when Westerly lost in the state semifinals.
Morgan added to his family’s legacy Friday night, scoring 16 points to reach 1,000 for his career in a hard-fought 66-57 Division II win over Pilgrim.
Morgan becomes the 15th player in Westerly’s rich boys basketball history to achieve the feat. Taber Gates was the last to do so, in 2018.
A 3-pointer from the top of the key with 12:55 remaining in the game gave him 1,000. It was a special moment for him and his family.
“My dad and I talked about being the first Morgan to come through and get it,” Morgan said. “It gives me the chills — it actually happened. I’ve been thinking about it all week.
“It means so much. Ever since I was a freshman I’ve been working every day, every summer for so many hours, multiple hours in the gym, just trying to get better. And every single year I’ve had a goal of getting on that banner and now it’s going to happen.”
Westerly coach Mike Gleason said Morgan did a good job of playing within the flow of the game.
“Chas played with no added pressure. It’s phenomenal as a coach to witness it," Gleason said. "We’ve won every game when we’ve had someone reach 1,000. All but one have been on the road and all have been in big spots.”
Westerly (17-3, 14-2 Division II) fell behind 47-45 with 7:50 remaining on an inside basket by Pilgrim’s 6-foot-5 junior, Tyriek Weeks.
Then Westerly’s Jawarie Hamelin (22 points, eight rebounds) took over. He nailed a 3-pointer, grabbed a rebound and drove the length of the floor for a strong finish to put the Bulldogs up 50-47.
Hamelin was also able to create opportunities for his teammates with his superior ball-handling skills.
Patrick Murphy (12 points) scored a pair of inside baskets and had a putback. Hamelin then connected over Weeks on a near-perfect stepback jumper from 15 feet to put the Bulldogs ahead 58-49 with 3:30 left in the game.
Hamelin’s bucket capped a 13-2 run by the Bulldogs in crunch time.
Still, Pilgrim (11-8, 9-7) only trailed by seven, 61-54, with 2:04 left after a 3-pointer by Joey Izzi (15 points). But Westerly was 5 of 7 from the line down the stretch to prevail.
Westerly doubled-teamed Weeks as much as possible, denying him the ability to dominate inside.
“We limited him to one point in the first half, and I think he ended up with 10. He’s one of the best in the state,” Gleason said. “I think we frustrated him with the doubles from different angles. He couldn’t quite get comfortable. Pat Murphy and Nick [Lauzon] and everybody else involved in the double teams did a great job executing it.”
Lauzon, who finished with nine points, also drew a big charge in the final three minutes.
“It was physical, a lot of emotion for both teams and a lot of back and forth between players and fans," Gleason said. "When that happens you have to be physically and mentally tough and I thought we were able to do that in the second half."
Westerly returns home Tuesday to host Tiverton at 7 p.m.