Men's basketball drives off with `December to Remember' win over unbeaten Joliet
December 6, 2013
It was another “December to Remember” moment for the men’s basketball team at Morton College, which sent a visitor to the Henry J. Vais Gymnasium tumbling from the ranks of the NJCAA’s unbeaten for the second straight year.
This time, Joliet, 7-0 and ranked No. 4 in the NJCAA Division III rankings, went down 71-65 December 6 in Cicero.
Morton College’s victory featured the spectacular with Nick Dixon scoring a career-high 30 points and 13 rebounds, and 68 percent free-throw shooter Alonzo Singletary going 10-for-10 from the line en route to a 14-point, 11-rebound game. However, the biggest message Panther coach Conte Stamas wanted his team to walk away is the understanding as to why Morton College tasted success in improving to 6-3.
“We don’t want to lose sight of why we had success,” Stamas said. “We need to continue to build on the good things we did.”
Stamas established a number of team goals he believes are important to success. Morton College, which saddled Kishwaukee with it first loss after a 12-0 start last December, reached a number of those key targets.
Morton College’s team goal is to shoot 72 percent from the free-throw line. The Panthers made 19 of 25 free throws for 76 percent. Another is a plus-5 advantage in total rebounds. Morton College hit that mark with a plus-9 edge. Taking care of the ball is important as reflected by making 10 or fewer turnovers. With nine turnovers, it was another category the Panthers were able to check off thanks to point guard Jimmy Stamas’ nine points and 11 assists.
While Morton College received partial credit for hitting another target, it factored heavily into the victory. The Panthers held Joliet beneath its 42 percent shooting goal in the second half, one where the Wolves were limited to just 29 points.
“At halftime, we were unhappy with our defense,” Stamas said. “We challenged our guys, especially our forwards. We told them, ‘If you play defense, we will win.’”
Joliet led 39-37 at the half. The second half was back and forth, but Dixon connected on a heavily contested jumper from the right wing to give Morton College the lead for good at 63-61 late in the contest.
The Panthers closed the game with a 5-0 run, featured by Dixon’s end-to-end breakaway dunk and Singletary’s two free throws.
Morton College begins a stretch of four straight away games against Wright Saturday, December 7 in Chicago.
Anderson's career-best 27 pushes men's basketball to victory over Truman
November 27, 2013
Kylan Anderson’s career-best night enabled Morton College to reach the century mark for the first time this season in the Panthers’ 102-60 non-conference win over Truman November 26 at the Henry J. Vais Gymnasium in Cicero.
Anderson, a 6-foot sophomore guard, scored his 27 points in a variety of ways. He was efficient from long range (4 of 8 on 3-pointers) as well as showing some razzle-dazzle by catching an alley-oop at full speed and laying it in. His previous high was 23 last season in a February 2013 win over McHenry.
Anderson also had 8 assists, 5 steals and a blocked shot. He scored four of Morton College’s first 10 points as the Panthers jumped to a 10-0 lead and never were challenged.
Nick Dixon hovered right around his average of 20.9 with a 21-point night, while Jimmy Stamas added 16 points and 9 assists. Devin Harrison added nine points, while Alonzo Singletary, Tino Vazquez and Arran Skinner each had eight. Dominick Pool-Roby scored five points.
The Panthers were halfway to the century mark in the first half, taking a 54-30 lead at intermission. Morton College (5-3) reached 100 points with 4:22 to go on Harrison’s scoop move to the basket.
Women's basketball withstands late Harper rally to end two-game slide
November 20, 2013
Clutch free-throw shooting saved the day in Morton College’s 57-54 win over Harper College November 19 at the Henry J. Vais Gymnasium in Cicero.
Carrie Collins and Franchessca Gill both made two free throws apiece in the final 36 seconds to counter Harper’s 33-26 second-half advantage. Morton College, now 5-2, didn’t score for almost the first three minutes before zooming out to comfortable leads at 15-4 and 20-8. Harper rallied to take a three-point lead at 51-48 before the Panthers closed the game with a 9-3 run that ended a two-game losing streak.
Isis Mance and Christina Yazzie led Morton College with 12 points apiece, while Gill added 11 on 5 of 7 free-throw shooting. Collins added seven points and Briana Smith, six.
“We need to do a better job of blocking out and running our offense,” Morton College women’s basketball coach Larry Lanciotti said. “We were keeping track of that and the number was unacceptable. We were up 10 at halftime and we were OK. We didn’t play well in the second half.”
Morton College heads to South Suburban for a 5 p.m. game Thursday, November 21, in South Holland.
Men's basketball suffers non-conference defeat at hands of Harper
November 20, 2013
Morton College overcame a flurry of early Harper three-pointers, but its shot selection in the end proved costly in a 71-62 loss November 19 at the Henry J. Vais Gymnasium in Cicero.
The Panthers trailed 31-30 at halftime on a reverse layup by Nick Dixon, who led Morton College (4-2) with 17 points. Alonzo Singletary added 14 and Dominick Pool-Roby, 12.
Harper made nine three-pointers, five coming from Tyler Gaedele, whose father, Bob, played baseball at Morton College in the mid-1970s.
"We had a good comeback, but we did not show enough discipline on the offensive end,” Morton College men’s basketball coach Conte Stamas said. “We took some bad shots, especially down the stretch. We’re going to need to pick it up.”
Morton College heads to South Suburban for a 7 p.m. contest Thursday, November 21, in South Holland. South Suburban scored an impressive victory this season over defending NJCAA Division champion Rend Lake.
Women's basketball can't weather storm created by Milwaukee trio
November 15, 2013
The kids can play, but the Morton College women’s basketball team hit a bump in the road November 14 when Milwaukee Area Technical stormed out of Cicero with a 72-60 win.
Morton College was off to its first 4-0 start in program history, but were done in by MATC’s trio of Ashley McHenry, Benetta Jones and Sakeenah Rashada. The three combined for 60 points with McHenry leading the way with 24, followed by Jones’ 20 and Rashada’s 16.
The Panthers proved they could play against a talent opponent by scoring the final six points of the first half to pull within 36-34. The rally was capped when Samantha Bruce won a scramble for a loose ball and found Christina Yazzie, who made a layup with just tenths of a second left.
MATC countered by scoring the first 14 points of second half. The Panthers also hurt themselves by making 28 turnovers and connecting on 10 of 25 free throws, including 4 of 14 attempts in the second half.
Morton College had four players in double figures with Iris Mance leading the way with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Briana Smith added 13, while Maricella Ruiz and Yazzie (five assists, seven rebounds) both scored 10.
“Our youth showed,” Morton College coach Larry Lanciotti said. “We need to work on a few things, but they are things that can be fixed.”
The Panthers are back in action at 5 p.m. Saturday, November 16, at the College of DuPage. The game site is the Walker Athletic and Performance Complex in Lisle.