|
|
Morton Times-News - Morton, IL
  • Raiders displace Morton, 54-52

  • The East Peoria boys basketball team ended a 22-game Mid-Illini Conference losing skid Saturday.

    The Raiders' breakthrough victory at Allison Gymnasium came at Morton's expense.
    • email print
  • The East Peoria boys basketball team ended a 22-game Mid-Illini Conference losing skid Saturday.
    The Raiders' breakthrough victory at Allison Gymnasium came at Morton's expense.
    Aaron Scully converted two free throws with 6.1 seconds left as East Peoria collected a 54-52 win.
    The Potters trailed by nine points in the third quarter before rallying to tie it with 20 seconds remaining.
    The defeat left Morton (3-14, 1-6) in a seventh-place league tie with the Raiders.
    "This is tough, but the sun will come up again. We just have to get back to work," MHS head coach Jarrett Brown said.
    The shooting numbers were similar to what they have been much of the season.
    East Peoria made 58 percent (15-of-26) from the floor, while the Potters converted only 37 percent (14-of-38).
    That disparity gave the Raiders an opportunity despite committing 21 turnovers, 11 more than Morton.
    Jake Morsch had a team-high 14 points to lead the Potters.
    Morton's Isaac Stephens recorded 12 of his 13 points in the second half, and Brent Waibel added 11.
    "He's really getting better," said Brown of Stephens. "We challenged him a little bit to demand the ball and want it more."
    The double-figures trio was 17-of-19 on free throws for a Potter squad that had 35 attempts at the line.
    Sean Mulhern's career-best 22 points led East Peoria (2-13, 1-6). He had half of the team's eight 3-pointers.
    Morsch hit a pair of first-quarter shots as Morton and the Raiders were tied at 10.
    Two Waibel free throws, followed by a Weston Feucht basket, lifted the Potters to a four-point lead early in the second period.
    East Peoria countered with an 10-2 run, however, to grab its own four-point advantage.
    A 4-for-4 combined effort at the charity stripe by Waibel and Morsch got the guests within 21-20 with 1:07 to go in the first half.
    But the Raiders scored the final five points to pull ahead by six at the halfway point.
    Morton fell into a nine-point hole in the third quarter until six points by Stephens in a span of 1 minute, 52 seconds.
    A pair of Breck Swinford free throws at the conclusion of the third made it 36-33 in favor of East Peoria.
    The Raiders hit the Potters with a couple treys in the first 1:08 of the fourth period, but Waibel countered with a triple of his own to make it 42-38.
    Morton was down just 44-42 after a Corey Dullard field goal on a sharp assist by Morsch with 3:14 left.
    Then, Mulhern canned another 3 at 2:52.
    Buckets by Morsch and Stephens kept the Potters within a single possession.
    Stephens went 2-for-2 at the line at :51.6 and :37.8, with the last set reducing the deficit to 52-50.
    Page 2 of 2 - East Peoria called a timeout to regroup at :28.7, but Morsch forced a turnover near midcourt and fed Nick Taylor for the game-tying lay-up.
    The Raiders inbounded the ball with 9.9 seconds remaining, setting up Scully's heroics on the game's 60th and 61st free throws.
    After getting the ball past halfcourt, Morton called for time at :03.9 to construct a final play. The last shot was well-defended and missed the mark.
    Morton lost to Central Monday, 37-32, in the River City Shootout at Renaissance Coliseum.
      • calendar