SAN DIEGO — Rey Parson isn't just the starting point guard on Morse High School's basketball team. He's also a coach on the court.
"He's the playmaker," said Morse Coach Ron Davis. "He keeps things in order. You need a player like that each year."
Parson, The Times' Player of the Week, had 47 points and 37 assists as Morse (6-1) defeated Monte Vista, Poway and Mira Mesa to win the Unlimited Division (for large schools) of the Kiwanis Tournament.
Parson stepped in at the right time Saturday to secure a victory in the final against previously undefeated Mira Mesa. During a 12-point Morse scoring streak that turned a 41-40 lead into a 53-40 cushion, Parson had 2 of his 12 steals and turned both into layups.
Mira Mesa closed the margin to 53-48 with two minutes left, but Parson took over. He stole the ball from Mira Mesa's Scott Cummings on a fast break and turned it into a layup. Parson intercepted a pass on Mira Mesa's next trip downcourt. He was fouled and made one of two free throws for a 56-48 lead with 58 seconds left.
"Some people may say it's luck, but I think I'm much quicker than other players," said Parson, who had 18 points against Mira Mesa.
Parson is averaging 15 points, 13 assists and 9 steals per game this season. His 17 assists against Poway broke the school's single-game record of 15 set by Keith Magee in 1978.
"I'm really a team player, I'm not an individual player," Parson said. "If I play good I think our team will be good. Really, I prefer to pass the ball most of the time. I feel that if I can make an assist and the other players score, we still win and that's OK by me."
Seven of the 10 seniors on this season's team, including Parson, have played together since ninth grade when they were 31-0. Parson was the leader even then.
"All the players know that I'm the loud mouth, I'm the third (actually fourth) coach on the team. I've got to keep them going. I yell at them but they know I don't mean anything," he said.
Said Davis: "He's been doing that for the last two years. I think that the kids respect him because he's been in the program ever since the ninth grade. He knows what I expect from my leader, my quarterback. He plays that role real well and he's very unselfish.
"That's one of the things I like about him, he does give positive direction and makes positive criticism with his teammates. He's a very intelligent kid when it comes to the game of basketball."