Boys fight back against Raiders

Bryan Veginski
Come-from-behind victory: Will Headean, a Morton freshman, drives to the basket Saturday during the Potters’ 50-46 boys basketball win at East Peoria. Morton improved to 11-8 overall and 5-5 in the Mid-Illini Conference. The Potters are at home twice this weekend.

The Morton boys basketball team was upended again by Pekin.

The Dragons swept the Mid-Illini Conference series from the Potters Feb. 3 after a 58-56 overtime win.

Morton trailed by 13 points at the Potterdome at halftime before outscoring Pekin 33-20 in the second half.

Potter Will Headean had 17 points and teammate Tyler Lundeen 15 to lead the way.

Kain Hoeniges’ 17 points for the Dragons shared game-high scoring honors.

Morton beat Pekin Dec. 30 in the consolation bracket of the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament.

MHS 51, Woodruff 50: The Potters got a much-needed close win Friday.

In the first of two regular-season matchups with a Mid-State 6 Conference foe, Morton prevailed after overcoming a double-digit deficit in the second half.

The Potters were balanced as Lundeen and Taphorn had 10 points apiece and Cody Anderson nine.

Tate Anderson chipped in seven points, including the game-winner in the closing seconds.

Behind by 11 points at intermission, Morton rallied with a 27-15 second-half margin.

Tylander Amos topped Woodruff with 13 points.

MHS 50, East Peoria 46: The Potters emerged with an other close victory Saturday.

Morton (11-8, 5-5) moved back into third place in the conference by winning at Allison Gymnasium.

A 17-9 Potter surplus in the fourth quarter turned around the game.

After a series of close losses, maybe the boys are starting to turn the corner.

“These guys are really good competitors, getting tougher all the time and they’re in for the long term,” MHS head coach Steve Schupp said.

Lundeen had 19 points on 6-of-8 field-goal shooting to pace all scorers.

The first period was a 13-13 deadlock as Lundeen had seven points and Bryce Donaldson six for the Raiders.

Morton went more than seven minutes in the second quarter without a field goal, but managed to attain a 23-22 lead at the halfway point.

The Potters sank 8-of-9 free throws after neither team scored in the second stanza for more than three minutes.

Austin Voeller gave the visitors a lift.

The junior made two free throws at 1:03 before a traditional three-point play 37 seconds later.

East Peoria concluded the third period with an 11-3 spurt, nine of the points coming on threes, to go ahead 37-33.

Undeterred, Morton started the fourth with a 11-2 run that sparked it to a 44-39 lead.

Cody Anderson had consecutive buckets to put the guests back in front.

Headean’s three-point play at 2:42, on a nifty Taphorn pass, capped the push.

With less than a minute remaining, Lundeen returned the advantage to five with a basket.

“In the fourth quarter, we got great execution by several players,” said Schupp.

Two late shots got the Raiders as close as 48-46 before a hustle play by Headean.

After the Potters missed the font end of a one-and-bonus, Headean snagged an offensive rebound and put it back to clinch the victory.

“Will has a good instinct for what’s going on,” said Schupp.

All 11 of Headean’s points came in the second half.

Bryce Donaldson had a dynamic game for East Peoria with 18 points.

Morton held Jacoby Cotton, who is putting together an all-conference caliber season, scoreless for the first 31:47.

Kevin Waibel returned to the floor for Morton after missing four games with an ankle injury.