Rising Morton dumps top two league teams

Bryan Veginski
Closely guarded: Morton freshman Sarah Livingston, left, had 12 points for the Potters Feb. 9 in their Senior Night win over the Washington girls basketball team. Morton improved to 16-15 with a 44-42 victory over Limestone Tuesday in postseason play.

The Morton girls basketball team engineered a stunning turnaround Feb. 9.

The Potters held Washington to two points in the fourth quarter to stop the surging Lady Panthers, 50-34.

”Our goal the second half was to challenge them on every shot — no open looks,” MHS head coach Bob Becker said. “I thought our girls rose to the occasion.”

Morton allowed only eight second-half points to transform a five-point deficit into a double digit Mid-Illini Conference victory.

“To hold them to eight points the second half is unbelievable effort out of the defensive end,” said Becker.

Mariah Nimmo guided the Potters with a game-leading 16 points.

Washington was 12-4 overall in its previous 16 games and entered the contest with four league wins in a row.

Morton excelled at the free-throw line in the final period, going 10-of-11.

Sarah Livingston also was in double figures for the Potters with 12 points.

Lexi Ellis, who was 6-of-6 at the charity stripe, scored eight points.

Gabby Closner and Erin Tisdale chipped in six points apiece for Morton on its Senior Night.

Becker credited Closner with helping turn the game around with her putbacks in the second half.

Lexi Grayer topped the Lady Panthers with 12 points.

Washington had eight points or less in every quarter but the second.

The Potters ended the year with a 7-7 mark on their home floor.

Morton split the regular-season series with the Lady Panthers.

Steve Daggs contributed to this story

MHS 60, Metamora 50

The Potters ruined the Redbirds’ Senior Night Thursday to close out a hot finish to the league campaign.

Morton ended up 8-6 in the conference, good for a fourth-place tie with Canton.

The Potters were above .500 in conference play for the seventh consecutive season and handed M-I champion Metamora its second loss in a row.

Morton was 6-1 in the second half of league play, the best stretch of any team.

The Potters also avenged two earlier loss to the Redbirds.

Nimmo and Livingston combined for 37 points, with the former player’s 19 topping all scorers.

Morton trailed by a point until outscoring Metamora 15-6 in the third quarter.

Carly Yingling added seven points for the guests and Tisdale six.

Kelsey Nafziger led the Redbirds with 13 points. 

MHS 40, Mahomet-Seymour 17

The Potters caged the Bulldogs Monday in the Class 3A Bloomington Regional quarterfinals.

No. 4 seed Morton (15-15) held M-S to 10 points in the first 24 minutes to advance with ease.

Nimmo again led the Potters with 14 points, a game-high total.

Morton, which also received eight points from Caitlyn Vandermeer and six from Livingston, won its sixth game in a row.

No player had more than five points for the fourth-seeded Bulldogs (10-16).

The Potters won their postseason opener for the seventh straight season.