In a game filled with runs, the East Peoria boys basketball team had the last one Dec. 19 against Morton.



The Raiders emerged with a 66-62 Mid-Illini Conference win at the Potterdome after gaining a 21-11 fourth-quarter edge.



Morton (4-2, 2-2) owned the lead with s 23-14 surge in the third period, but was hampered by cold shooting and turnovers in the late stages.


In a game filled with runs, the East Peoria boys basketball team had the last one Dec. 19 against Morton.

The Raiders emerged with a 66-62 Mid-Illini Conference win at the Potterdome after gaining a 21-11 fourth-quarter edge.

Morton (4-2, 2-2) owned the lead with s 23-14 surge in the third period, but was hampered by cold shooting and turnovers in the late stages.

Drake Taphorn provided instant contributions off the bench for the Potters. His 15 points were a team-high total.

Reserves Tyler Lundeen and Austin Voeller also combined for 15 points.

“They did some really good things,” MHS head coach Steve Schupp said of the second unit. “We got contributions from so many kids; that was really good.”

The Potters erased an early seven-point deficit with a 10-3 spurt to knot the game at 16 at the end of the first quarter.

Will Headean, who finished with 12 points, and Taphorn combined for all the points. Both players had a three-pointer and a conventional field goal during the two-minute span.

“We did a terrific job to come back and hold our composure,” said Schupp of overcoming the initial EP salvo.

A Taphorn trey and Lundeen bucket off a Kevin Waibel rebound lifted Morton to a 21-17 lead in the second period.

East Peoria responded with an 11-2 push, which included the final of Joe Kelch’s four first-half threes.

Voeller’s three-point play with 1:07 left before halftime kept the Potters within one possession of a tie.

The third quarter was lively for Morton.

Thanks to a 13-5 bulge on the boards and a 21-9 difference in shot attempts, the Potters turned the momentum in their favor.

Cody Anderson supplied four points in a 30-second stretch before Taphorn put Morton back on top, 36-35, with a jump shot.

The Potters were clinging to a 40-39 advantage when a 7-1 spree gave them their biggest separation.

Waibel, Taphorn and Voeller all supplied buckets.

Waibel amassed six points and six rebounds in the frame. He twice made shots while getting fouled.

East Peoria hit Morton with five points in the first 47 seconds of the fourth and then reeled off eight in a row following a Headean field goal.

Still, the Potters twice pulled within three points in the final 2:15.

But they did not make another shot from the floor until a Headean three in the waning seconds.

Some costly miscues and missing short-range opportunities led to a second consecutive conference loss.

“We had the opportunity to win this one,” Schupp said. “They happened to catch a couple breaks at the right time that cut us a little short.”

Schupp stated all the problems the boys encountered are fixable, the athletes just have to be dedicated with their effort.

Raider Bryce Donaldson had 10 of his game-leading 24 points in the fourth quarter. Kelch added a season-high 17.

Seventeen boards combined from Waibel, who also delivered eight points, and Lundeen gave Morton a nine-rebound surplus.