The Morton boys basketball team had balanced scoring Nov. 19, but that was not enough to keep up with South Holland Seton Academy.
The Potters lost, 75-57, on the opening night of the Lincoln/Eaton Round Robin Tournament at Roy S. Anderson Gymnasium.
Jake Starkey and Nick Taylor were Morton’s leaders with 10 points apiece on a combined 7-of-11 shooting.
Corey Dullard chipped in 9-of-14 free-throw accuracy to account for all nine of his points.
Jared Liddle added eight points for the Potters and Brent Waibel seven.
Morton trailed 37-21 at halftime after getting outscored 25-12 by the Sting in the second quarter.
The Potters shot the ball well, making 17-of-32 field goals, including 5-of-7 from long range.
Seton Academy placed fourth in the state a year ago in Class 2A and likely has a better team this season.
Lincoln 31, MHS 29
The Potters almost completely erased a 10-point deficit with 2:30 to play Nov. 21, but the Railsplitters held on for the win.
Lincoln had to survive a well-run Morton last-ditch play to even its tournament record.
With 3.1 seconds left, Dullard got a good look at a 3-pointer off an inbounds pass.
When that attempt barely missed, Isaac Stephens, who just checked in, was there for a tip on the weak side. That shot also bounced off.
“The thing about that last play is it kind of defines where these guys are,” said MHS head coach Jarrett Brown. “I feel really fortunate to be their coach. These guys really fight.”
With the Potters trailing 29-19 with 2:29 remaining, Liddle made four consecutive free throws. He was fouled after sinking the first set with no time expiring.
After Lincoln split two foul shots at the 1:45 mark, Waibel canned a trey to make it 30-26.
At :37.9, the Railers missed the front end of a one-and-bonus, and the Potters struck again just four seconds later as Starkey made the team’s seventh 3 of the night.
The guests tried four different things offensively and, for what could be multiple reasons, the last one worked.
Lincoln completed a 4-of-12 effort at the charity stripe with a split with 27.9 seconds to go, setting the stage for Morton to try to tie or win it.
The Potters had only two field-goal tries in the first quarter — made 3s by Dullard and Taylor as the teams were even, 6-6. Dullard’s was from about 25 feet at the buzzer.
The Railers went on a 10-2 run in the second until Weston Feucht banked in a basket with 45 seconds until intermission. It was Morton’s only 2-pointer of the game.
The third period was all 3s — two by Lincoln’s Edward Bowlby and one by Dullard.
Page 2 of 2 - After the Railers went ahead by double digits for the first time to begin the fourth quarter, triples by Liddle and Jake Morsch trimmed the Potter deficit to 24-19 with 4:30 left.
Comparing the second game to the first, Brown said an important aspect to consider is “stretches of time where we played at our maximum effort.
“I think we really fought throughout and competed to the end.”
Liddle topped Morton scorers with seven points.
Gavin Block and Bowlby co-led Lincoln with nine points.
Cahokia 69, MHS 37
The Comanches outscored the Potters in every quarter Saturday to stay unbeaten.
Morton made seven 3s, but those were not nearly enough against the eventual tournament title winner.
Starkey had eight points to top the Potters, who trailed 38-16 at halftime.
Vincent Jackson Jr. and Keenan Minor combined for 36 points for the Comanches.
Taylor had six points and Liddle five.
Danville 46, MHS 44
The Potters suffered their second two-point loss of the tournament Saturday night.
Four Morton (0-5) players produced between seven and nine points against the Vikings.
Morsch led the way with nine points. Taylor and Liddle had eight and Andy Homa collected seven.
Denzel Smith topped Danville, which was down 19-17 at intermission, with 19 points.
The Potters also lost, 47-35, Friday to Champaign Centennial.
Morton was second in the six-team field with .694 free-throw accuracy for the five games.