Lively crowds sought for closing stretch of hoops season

Staff Writer
Morton Times-News

With two important wins over the weekend, the Morton boys basketball team is on the upswing.

The young squad is 11-8 and can realistically finish as high as third place in the Mid-Illini Conference with its current 5-5 mark.

With improving assist-to-turnover ratios and more poise shown in late-game situations, the Potters are making strides.

One pattern patrons always will see in 2008-09 is an entertaining, hard-working effort.

“I like what we’ve done,” said MHS head coach Steve Schupp, who is encouraging large February crowds. “The rest of the community will see how exciting this team can be.”

He added the support is very helpful and meaningful to the players.

A team that sometimes does not have a senior on the floor has not lost this year by more than eight points.

Four more games are lined up at the Potterdome, beginning with a twin bill Friday and Saturday against Canton and Normal U-High, respectively.

Senior forward Cody Anderson has stepped up his effort this year and made significant contributions, Schupp said. Classmate Kevin Waibel is anxious to work back into shape after an ankle injury and be a presence again in the middle.

Forward Tyler Lundeen is getting more comfortable and delivering really solid play as a sophomore.

Tate Anderson and Drake Taphorn, both juniors, give Morton a nice rotation of ballhandling guards. They both are playing well right now.

Austin Voeller, a junior, is one of the players capable of giving the Potters a quick lift off the bench and offers size at a guard position.

Freshman guard Will Headean, like Lundeen, is playing beyond his class year.

“It’s been remarkable what he has done as a freshman in key situations,” Schupp said of Headean.

Adam Kumpf, a junior guard, has come in and steadily knocked down three-pointers.

Junior guard Matt McClain and senior forward Ryan Leander energize their teammates, Schupp said. McClain is ready when called upon, and Leander has a knack for drawing charges.

Brett Bisping, another freshman, is showing flashes after making steady progress throughout the campaign.

Junior forward Eric Waibel, with his 6-foot-5 frame, is really important for Morton on the point of the defense.

Schupp said the variety of athletes he can insert in a game give opponents a lot of different looks with which to contend.

Although the future appears very bright, a Potters team with different stars every night certainly has a lot to be enthusiastic about the rest of this season.

Bryan Veginski