Morton ‘stagnant’ in semifinal loss to Normal West; Lanphier into final

Morton ‘stagnant’ in semifinal loss to Normal West; Lanphier into final

After a dominant morning, a stagnant stretch eventually doomed the Morton boys basketball team.

The Potters scored four points in the second quarter, falling behind by 10 at halftime of a 48-32 loss to Normal West in the semifinals of the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament on Thursday night.

Morton started strong as Jarrett Crider sank 4 three-point baskets in the opening quarter to give him 56 points in the first nine quarters of the tournament.

But after trailing 15-14 at the end of the opening quarter, the Potters were outscored 13-4 in the second and didn’t reach double digits in any of the last three quarters.

Morton advanced to this game with a 49-26 victory earlier Thursday over No. 2 seed Richwoods.

“We came out with a lot of energy,” Morton coach Matt Franks said, “but then things got kind of stagnant.”

Morton made just 5 of 17 shots in the second half while Normal West got hot from long range. NW made 10 of 18 3s.

“I actually thought we played pretty good defense, but they hit some tough shots and some long shots,” Franks said. “You just have to tip your cap when they’re doing that.”

Normal West advances to face top seed Springfield Lanphier, a 67-52 winner over Champaign Centennial in the second semifinal.

Morton 49, Richwoods 26: The Potters dominated this morning quarterfinal from the start, holding Richwoods without a field goal for the first 11:40 of the game. By then, Richwoods missed its first 12 shots. Morton opened a 22-9 halftime lead and were never threatened in its second consecutive blowout win.

Richwoods made just 1 of 14 shots from the field in the first half and 5-for-30 in the game.

“We controlled the tempo from the beginning and made some early shots,” Morton coach Matt Franks said. “We played well, especially defensively, against a good team. I was really happy with the way we came out. They’re high school kids and you never know how they’re going to respond to a 10:30 a.m. start.”

Jarrett Crider matched the Richwoods scoring output himself to give him 44 points in the first two games of the tournament. His 26 points included 11-for-13 free throw shooting. Barik Olden had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Potters.

Champaign Centennial 49, Pekin 43: Centennial held off Pekin in a Thursday afternoon quarterfinal.

Jace Link scored 10 to lead Pekin, which trailed 25-13 at halftime but outscored Centennial 12-6 in the third to make it interesting. Mitchell Cascia had a team-high six rebounds.

Tommy Makabu scored 20 to lead Centennial.

Springfield Lanphier 46, Washington 44: Top-seeded Lanphier held off a Washington rally to advance to the semifinals.

Adrian Ware scored 16 and Ben Mount 14 to lead the Panthers, who outscored the Lions 17-12 in the fourth quarter. Washington’s Adrian Williams added a game-high 11 rebounds.

Cardell McGee scored 15 to lead Lanphier.

Elsewhere: Dallas Bryson scored 16 and Josh McElrath 14 but No. 2 seed Richwoods fell into the seventh-place game with a 60-56 loss to No. 3 Lake Zurich on Thursday afternoon. … Pekin beat Washington 43-24 in a consolation matchup of Mid-Illini Conference rivals. The Dragons will play for fifth place. … Limestone will play for consolation fifth place after splitting a pair of games Thursday. Jadon Payton and Mike Dunne scored eighth each in a 35-33 loss to East Moline. The Rockets rebounded behind Payton (21 points) and Dunne (18 points) to beat Freeport 72-64.

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