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Boys High School Basketball News - 2008-2009 Season
Mid-Illini Week in Review - March 15, 2009 - By Steve Stein
THE BIG STORY: Mortons amazing run to the Class 3A
sectional finals is the story of the season in Mid-Illini Conference boys basketball.
After struggling for much of the year -- they were 9-8 in early February -- the Potters
(17-12) turned on the jets in the post-season, defeating No. 3-ranked Washington and No.
7-ranked Peoria Richwoods before succumbing to No. 9-ranked Rock Island in a sectional
championship game played on Rock Islands home floor. Mortons regional
championship win over Washington at the Panther Den was not only surprising, but perhaps
symbolic. Is the balance of power in the Mid-Illini shifting from Washington to Morton?
Washington has won five Mid-Illini championships in five seasons under Coach Kevin Brown,
but the Panthers are losing four-fifths of their starting lineup. Morton is losing just
three seniors, only one starter, and is returning arguably the best underclassmen in the
conference in freshman Will Headean and sophomore Tyler Lundeen.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: We had them right where we wanted them for the
longest time. -- Morton coach Steve Schupp, talking to the Journal Star after the
Potters 53-37 loss Friday to Rock Island. Morton led 25-19 midway through the third
quarter, and the game was tied 29-29 heading into the fourth quarter before Rock Island
finally ended the Potters March Madness.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Kevin Waibel, Mortons lone senior starter and
the only returning player from last season with substantial varsity experience, scored 11
points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the Potters 47-41 sectional semifinal win Tuesday
STAT OF THE WEEK: Morton is still looking for its first sectional
championship after 60 years of boys basketball.
UNSUNG HEROES OF THE WEEK: All the bus drivers, student managers,
scorekeepers, assistant coaches, trainers and other behind-the-scenes people who never get
enough credit for making high school basketball the wonderful sport it is.
A LOOK AHEAD: Dont look now, but summer basketball is just a few
Mid-Illini Week in Review - March 8, 2009 - By Steve Stein
THE BIG STORY: How about those
Potters! Morton stunned No. 3-ranked Washington 46-44 Friday in the championship game of the
Washington Class 3A Regional when Tyler Lundeen sank an uncontested layup with 1.2 seconds
to go. Even though Morton (16-11) had played Washington (22-4) tough in their two earlier meetings
this season, losing by eight and 10 points, it was a surprising victory. Morton had lost
12 in a row to Washington. The Panthers had gone 55-6 at home in Kevin
Browns five years as coach. Washington had won four straight regionals, while Morton
hadnt won a regional since 2004. Morton got a shot at Washington thanks to a 48-41 regional semifinal victory
Wednesday over Metamora. Led by the tenacious defense of Kevin Waibel, the Potters held
6-foot-9 Metamora center Zach Schneider to just one point.
QUOTE OF THE
WEEK: What really hurts is knowing this will be the last time our five
seniors will leave our locker room. That goes beyond the game. -- An emotional Washington coach Kevin Brown after the loss to Morton.
THE WEEK: Morton freshman (its difficult to be believe he is a freshman)
Will Headean scored a game-high 20 points in the Potters victory over Washington. One of the major reasons why Tyler Lundeen
found himself so open on Mortons final play was the attention the Panthers paid to
STAT OF THE
WEEK: This might be the stat of the season. Washingtons Colton Underwood did not make a field
goal, but he was his teams best player in the loss to Morton. Underwood scored 12
points on 12-of-12 shooting from the foul line, and he grabbed 13 rebounds.
OF THE WEEK: Mortons Tate Anderson played only a couple minutes against Washington, but he made them count. The junior
guards dash up the court and precision bounce pass to Tyler Lundeen paved the way
for Lundeens game-winning layup.
It took a long time, more than a half-hour, for Washington coach Kevin Brown to emerge from the
Panthers locker room after the loss to Morton. When he did, the Washington fans still in the gym gave Brown a standing
ovation. Overcome with emotion, Brown took a few seconds to gather himself before
answering questions from reporters.
Washingtons loss to Morton and No. 1-ranked Peoria Manuals 71-65 loss Friday
to Princeton in the Class 2A Chillicothe Sectional championship game were reminders of
what a difficult task it is to advance in the state finals. Washington and Manual made it to the Final Four last
season and were expected to do it again this year, but it didnt happen. So much has
to go right on the road to Carver Arena. Now that theyve beaten Washington and Manual, it will be interesting to see how
far Morton and Princeton (25-5) can go.
AHEAD: Morton will meet Peoria Richwoods (21-7) at Tuesday in the semifinals of the Rock Island
Sectional. Rock Island (19-8) and LaSalle-Peru will collide at Wednesday in the other semifinal. The
championship game will be at Friday. The four 3-point
contest sectional qualifiers from the Washington Regional are Washingtons Mark Roth
and Corey Sharp and East Peorias Jacoby Cotton and Alex Cline.
MID-ILLINI STANDINGS: 1. Washington 12-1; 2. East Peoria 8-5; 3. Morton 8-6; 4.
Dunlap 7-7; 5. (tie) Canton and Metamora 6-8; 7. Pekin 5-9; 8. Limestone 3-11.
CHANCES: Theres no doubt that Morton caught a bad break when East Peoria
lost to Pontiac and didnt play Washington in a regional/Mid-Illini game, but the
Potters hurt their chances to finish in second place in the Mid-Illini by losing twice to
Pekin. The Dragons won just three Mid-Illini games on the court. Two of their conference
wins were Limestone forfeits.
FIZZLE: Limestones tumultuous season ended with a 38-28 loss Wednesday to
Peoria Richwoods in the Class 3A Richwoods Regional semifinals. The 28 points scored by
the Rockets was the second-lowest in team history. Limestone fell 34-27 to Richwoods in
overtime on Dec. 11, 1960.
Drew Heinzmann scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half to lead Dunlap past Rock Island Alleman 60-54 Monday at the Galesburg Class 3A
Sectional. The Eagles fell 69-54 to Rock Island on Tuesday and their season came to an end.
Mid-Illini Week in Review - March 1, 2009 - By Steve Stein
THE BIG STORY: Ironically, the
big story involves a game that WASNT played. A power outage Friday afternoon caused
by a blown transformer canceled the East Peoria at Washington game. Washington didnt want to move the game to East Peoria because of Senior Night activities. East Peoria didnt want to play Saturday because it
has an Illinois High School Association Class 3A Regional game at Monday vs. Pontiac at Washington, and a couple players had other commitments
Saturday. Washingtons Senior Night activities will be held
Tuesday during the Panthers Regional semifinal game at Torry Gymnasium. The opponent
could be East Peoria if the Raiders defeat Pontiac.
GOLD MEDAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Things happen in life and you just
have to overcome some things. Thats what were doing here. Were keeping
our heads strong and playing the game like it should because we love playing the game.
-- Limestone star Donivine Stewart, commenting Friday on the Rockets
eligibility problems after he scored 40 points in a 68-54 win over Dunlap. The Rockets
regrouped and won three of their last four Mid-Illini games after losing stars Marquis
Lobdell and Demarius Sumrell when they were declared ineligible by the IHSA. In an 80-68
win over Metamora, Limestone made nine of its first 10 3-point shots and it finished
10-of-21 beyond the arc. In addition, the Rockets were 21-of-30 on 2-point shots. SILVER MEDAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK: We didnt lose this game. Canton won it. -- Classy Farmington coach Tom Wierzba after his teams 70-66
loss Monday to the host Little Giants in a Class 2A Regional opener. It was Wierzbas
final game after 26 years as Farmingtons coach. BRONZE MEDAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK: This is a tough place to play, but
I always feel we walk out of here a better basketball team. -- Washington coach Kevin Brown after the Panthers
57-47 win Tuesday over Morton at the Potter Dome. The Panthers have won five in a row at
Morton after losing four straight there.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: In
only his second game at point guard, East Peorias Bryce Donaldson scored 28 points and
dished out 10 assists Tuesday in the Raiders 79-59 win over Pekin. Donaldson stepped in for Joe Kelch, who is
out with an ankle injury.
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT: Sophomore forward Tyler Lundeen scored 30 points
and freshman point guard Will Headean had 17 along with seven steals Friday as they led
Morton past Metamora 68-56 in a double-overtime marathon. The two underclassmen combined
for 18 of the Potters final 21 points, and they made 12 of their 13 free throws
during the game. Headean scored the only five points of the fourth quarter.
THIS KID IS ALL RIGHT: Another sophomore made headlines Tuesday. East Peorias 6-8 Dylan Sparkman scored 12 of his 18
points in the fourth quarter of the Raiders victory over Pekin.
SPEAKING OF KIDS: MortonJunior High Schools Illinois Elementary School Association
Class 7-4A state champion boys basketball team was honored at the Washington-Morton game.
The Junior Potters are coached by Matt Yarcho, who recently reached the 400-victory
STAT OF THE WEEK: Morton held Metamora to just four points during the
games final 16 minutes (the fourth quarter and the two overtime periods).
UNSUNG HERO OF THE WEEK: Sophomore reserve Jordan Fouts scored 17 points
-- all in the second half -- to help Canton beat Farmington. Fouts made 7-of-10 shots from the field. His
3-pointer put the Little Giants ahead for good at 62-60. Canton sealed the victory by making eight consecutive
SPIES IN THE STANDS: With no game to coach, Washington coach Kevin Brown and assistant coach Eric
Schermerhorn were spotted in the stands at the Potter Dome scouting the Metamora-Morton
game. If all goes well for the Panthers in the Regional, theyll face Metamora or
Morton for the championship (see item below).
A LOOK AHEAD: If Washington and East Peoria meet at Tuesday, it will be both a Regional semifinal
game and a Mid-Illini game. While the No. 3-ranked Panthers have clinched their fifth
consecutive Mid-Illini championship, East Peoria can finish all alone in second place with an
upset victory. The Raiders are 8-5 in conference play. Morton finished 8-6. In a rematch
that is for certain, Morton will face Metamora at Wednesday in the other Washington Regional
semifinal game, just five days after their double-overtime thriller. Is another classic on
the horizon? The Washington Regional championship game will be at Friday.
KUDOS: To the surprising Metamora girls basketball team, which made it
all the way to the Class 3A Metamora Sectional finals before losing 63-41 Thursday to No.
2-ranked Peoria Richwoods. The Lady Redbirds finished 20-12 in a year where a
season-ending injury to a starter and a five-game losing streak could have derailed them
for good. Heres a quote from Metamora coach Kathy Wainman: As I told the girls
tonight, Ill talk about this team for years to come because they never gave
FULL DISCLOSURE: All quotes were from Peoria Journal Star stories.
Mid-Illini Week in Review - February 22, 2009 - By Steve
THE BIG STORY: Limestones record fell from
18-3 to 0-21 Tuesday after it was forced by the Illinois High School Association to
forfeit its 18 victories for using ineligible players in those games. The Rockets are now
1-22 after a 51-50 win Friday over Morton and a 76-52 loss Saturday to Peoria Richwoods.
TRIPLE THREAT: Limestone made 10 3-point shots -- five by Tyler
Christiansen -- in its victory over Morton that gave the Rockets a 1-11 record in the
Mid-Illini. Donivine Stewarts two free throws with 6.7 seconds left won the game.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Theyre battling, Limestone coach Dan
Sparrow said to Journal Star reporter Greg Stewart about his revamped starting lineup.
Were just trying to get ready for the post-season.
SOPH STAR: Remember the name Tyler Lundeen. The Morton sophomore
continues to impress. He scored 21 points in the loss to Limestone.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Zeke Schneider, Metamoras 6-foot-9 center,
pulled down 17 rebounds and blocked eight shots in the Redbirds 53-42 win Friday
over Canton. Schneiders presence in the middle was a big reason why the Little
Giants shot just 25 percent from the field (14-of-57).
STAT OF THE WEEK: Metamora is 4-0 vs. Canton this season.
COMEBACK KIDS: Down 40-28 in the third quarter, Dunlap rallied for a
66-56 win Friday over East Peoria. Dylan Garrison scored 15 of his 25 points during a 30-8
Dunlap run that turned the game around. The Eagles outscored the Raiders 31-14 in the
fourth quarter, making 13-of-15 free throws.
UNSUNG HERO OF THE WEEK: East Peorias Bryce Donaldson scored 12 of
the Raiders 14 points in the fourth quarter of their loss to Dunlap. He finished
with 27 points.
WELCOME BACK I: Kevin Waibel returned to Mortons starting lineup
Tuesday when the Potters faced Peoria Notre Dame, and he had 15 points and six rebounds in
a 58-48 loss. The 6-foot-7 senior suffered an ankle injury in late January.
WELCOME BACK II: Pekin junior Jake Francis suffered a knee injury in the
football teams Red-White pre-season scrimmage game. He underwent surgery and missed
the entire football season. It looked like he was going to have to sit out the entire
basketball season, but hes played in Pekins last three games. Basketball coach
Dave Mott said Francis would have been one of the Dragons top seven players if he
hadnt gotten hurt.
OUCH I: Washington sophomore guard Ryan Grebner is out for the remainder
of the regular season after hurting his shoulder in the Panthers Feb. 14 game at
OUCH II: East Peoria sophomore guard Joe Kelch, son of Coach Ron Kelch,
suffered an ankle injury during Fridays loss to Dunlap and is expected to miss this
weeks games. Coach Kelch wasnt available for post-game interviews Friday
because he took his son to the hospital.
A LOOK AHEAD: Washington plays Tuesday at Morton and returns home Friday
to meet East Peoria as it attempts to put the finishing touches on its fifth consecutive
Mid-Illini championship and a 13-1 conference season.
Mid-Illini Week in Review - February 15, 2009 - By Steve
THE BIG STORY: This is easy. Citing violations of its
transfer and residency rules, the Illinois High School Association ruled Limestone stars
Marquis Lobdell and Demarius Sumrell ineligible Thursday, one day before the Rockets
much-anticipated showdown with Washington.
With Lobdell and Sumrell -- two of the
conferences leading scorers and rebounders -- watching in street clothes from the
bench, visiting Washington beat Limestone 67-50 Friday in front of a big crowd in Vern
Woosley Gymnasium and took over first place in the conference.
Washington out rebounded Limestone
33-13. Lobdell and Sumrell average more than 17 rebounds per game between them. You do the
math of what their loss meant to the Rockets.
Limestone plans to appeal the
IHSAs ruling, so stay tuned. The IHSA hasnt decided if it will force the
Rockets to forfeit their 18 victories.
HIGH FIVE: Washington
beat Dunlap 62-46 on the road Saturday, taking another giant step toward its fifth
consecutive Mid-Illini championship.
STAT OF THE WEEK:Washington
made 21-of-28 two-point shots against Limestone for a blistering 75 percent. (Journal
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
You always want to compete against the best. -- Washington coach Kevin Brown,
talking about the Panthers facing a depleted Limestone team (Journal Star.)
UNSUNG HERO OF THE WEEK
Washington stars Dyricus Simms-Edwards and Ben Worner had a great running mate Saturday in
Colton Underwood. The 6-foot-4 junior scored 16 points against Dunlap, picking up the
slack in the second half when Simms-Edwards briefly lost his shooting touch and Worner was
saddled with foul trouble (Journal Star.)
DE-FENSE: East Peoria
held Metamora to just three points in the first quarter and 10 points in the first half
Friday en route to a 55-43 victory (Journal Star.)
LUCKY NUMBER: Metamora
made 13 consecutive shots, including four 3-pointers by J.D. Kamp, during the third and
fourth quarters en route to an 89-71 win Saturday over Pontiac (Journal Star.)
NO SOPH TOUCH:
Sophomore Tyler Lundeen scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds Friday to lead Morton
past Canton 61-51 (Journal Star.)
EXPENSIVE FREE THROWS I:
Dunlap was 7-of-10 from the free throw line in its 44-40 victory Friday over Pekin. All
those foul shots came in the games final (Journal Star.)
EXPENSIVE FREE THROWS II:
Morton was 22-of-24 at the free throw line in its win over Canton, including a 15-of-16
effort in the fourth quarter (Journal Star.)
have plagued Pekin at times this season, but the Dragons lost the ball just four times
Saturday in a 44-42 loss to Peoria Richwoods (Journal Star.)
A LOOK AHEAD: Washington
is 10-1 in the Mid-Illini with three conference games remaining. It will host Pekin on
Friday and East Peoria on Feb. 27, and travel to Morton on Feb. 24. If the Panthers win
all three games, the title is theirs. Limestone is in second place at 9-2.
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IL - The Panthers were expecting a battle when the Limestone Rockets came into
Torry Gymnasium in Washington Friday night in their first Mid-Illini Conference meeting of
the season. And the Rockets did not disappoint, storming back in the second quarter to
trail at the break 33-29. But the Panthers Dyricus Simms-Edwards owned the third period
and kept Washington in front for a final score of 67-61.
Marquis Lobdell led the
Rocket's scoring with 25 and some aggressive defense that contributed to the Panther's 22
turnovers to only nine for Limestone. The Rockets committed 16 fouls giving Washington
eleven points from the stripe, shooting 69%. The Panthers got called twenty times, but
Limestone's 50% free throw shooting hurt them in the end.
The real damage was done by Simms-Edwards, with 27 points to lead the Panthers scoring.
He knocked the Rockets off-course with a flurry of offense in the third quarter that kept
Washington in front, but not without a couple of runs by the Rockets, who never led in the
Simms-Edwards' efforts were aided by eleven from Ben Worner and nine from Robert
Izaguirre. Mark Roth came off the bench and nailed three treys for a total of nine points
adding to the Panther's balanced attack.
Donivine Stewart had 18 for the Rockets, including four of Limestone's five from beyond
the arc. Demarius Sumrell had ten and Randy Garske eight to round out Limestone's scoring
and a rather poor 35% field goal percentage for the game.
The loss leaves Limestone with a 3-1 record in the Mid-Illini and 12-2 overall, with
their other loss to Moline in the Pekin Holiday Tournament. Next up for the Rockets is a
trip to the Potterdome on January 16th to take on the Morton Potters.
Washington's record is 2-1 in the Mid-Illini and 9-3 overall. They will visit Pekin on
January 16th and face the Dragons in a Mid-Illini Conference match-up.
Washington Panthers Vs. Richwoods Knights - December 30,
2008 - By Steve Daggs | Back |
Washington's Dyricus Simms-Edwards (32) drives the
baseline against Richwood's Tony Frazier (24). Ben Worner (20) brings the ball down.
Richwoods Mason Alwan (32) attempts to block the Panther's Dyricus
IL - The second seeded Richwoods Knights needed to get by the Washington Panthers
in the third round of the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament if they were to have a shot
at the tournament championship on New Years Eve in Pekin in the 44th edition of
this holiday classic.
But the Panthers would prevail with a 47-30 win. "For
whatever reason, we were out of sync, so you've got to give Washington a lot of
credit," stated the Knight's head coach, Mike Ellis.
Maybe the tone of the contest was set when the Panther's Dyricus Simms-Edwards opened
the second quarter scoring with a jam to go up 13-10. Simms-Edwards had 12 in the first
half, giving Washington a 25-15 margin at the break.
Richwoods out-scored Washington 9-5 in the third period and pulled to within six at
30-24. With 4:35 to go, Washington's Ben Worner hit a three from the corner that stretched
the Panther's lead to 13 at 39-26.
With both team's subs in the game for the final 1:33, Washington extended their lead to
17 and the final score of 47-30, to send the Panthers to the championship round against
the Moline Maroons. The Knights would meet the Freeport Pretzels in the third place game
also on Wednesday.
Early in the first quarter, Washington went to a zone defense. "We had no
intention of playing zone tonight," Panther head coach Kevin Brown said. It was a
successful move that kept Richwoods penetration down.
"Our kids did a great job of stepping up and getting rebounds," Brown
continued. Washington had 26 rebounds to Richwood's 19. Turnovers were even at eight.
"The difference in the game was their shots in the paint verses our shots in the
paint," commented Ellis. "We were too perimeter oriented." Simms-Edwards
was the big beneficiary, constantly driving the baseline, scoring a total of 16 to lead
the team. Jontell Lindsay led the Knight's scoring with 8.
In the Championship game on Wednesday night,
Washington lost to Moline 38-37 on a three-point shot at the buzzer by the Maroons Justin Blondell.
Richwoods defeated the Freeport Pretzels 59-31 for third place in the tournament.
Click on images for
Click here to go to the
Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament
web site for more tournament information.
Morton Potters Vs. East Peoria Raiders - December 19,
2008 - By Steve Daggs
| Back |
Morton's Cody Anderson
(41) drives the lane on East Peoria's Bryce Donaldson (22). Click on image for larger view.
East Peoria's Alex Cline (left) and Cole
Nieukirk (right) battle Morton's Cody Anderson (41) for a loose
ball. Click on image for larger view.
IL - Coming off a home court loss to Limestone, the East Peoria Raiders headed to
Morton looking for a solid "W". Using a Donaldson-Kelch one-two punch and a
scrappy defense, the Raiders held on to win 66-62.
In the first three minutes, the
Raiders jumped out to a 9-2 lead on a Jacoby Cotton trey. But Morton's Drake Taphorn's
three-point shooting set up a 16 all tie at the close of the first frame. At the break,
East Peoria held on to a three-point lead at 31-28.
The Potters outscored the East Peoria 23 to 14 in the third quarter, leading 51-45 at
the close of the period. With 3:22 left in the fourth period, a Bryce Donaldson layup put
the Raiders back on top for good at 54-53.
With :45.9 left in the game, the Potters had battled back to at three-point deficit at
62-59. A Morton foul put Joe Kelch on the line where he made one of two (63-59).
A Kelch steal with :26.4 to go led to another foul and Kelch went 1-2 again (64-59).
With :14.0 to go, Donaldson was fouled and made two of two to lead 66-59, which pretty
much sealed the Potter's fate. Will Headean rounded out his 12 points with a three at the
buzzer to make the final 66-62 Raiders.
Donaldson had 24 for the Raiders, including two threes. Kelch hit five treys and 17
total points for the game. Taphorn came off the bench for 15, including three from beyond
the arc, to lead the Potter's scoring. Headean had a total of 12 with a pair of threes.
The win gives East Peoria a 2-1 record in the Mid-Illini and an overall record of 4-3.
The Raiders visit Woodruff on Saturday and are headed to the Carbondale Holiday
Tournament, where they meet H. L. Richards High School from Oak Lawn, Illinois, on
The Potters are 2-2 in the conference, 4-2 overall. They will play Hersey in the Pekin
Insurance Holiday Tournament opening round on December 29th.
Morton Potters Vs. Dunlap Eagles - December 9, 2008 - By
Steve Daggs | Back |
The Potter's Will Headean led Morton's scoring
with 16, including three three-point goals. Click on image for larger view.
Drew Heinzmann (22) led the Eagles with 16
points. Click on image for larger view.
IL - The Potter's defense held the Eagles in check, allowing their first score on
a Drew Heinzmann field goal at the 6:11 mark in the first quarter with the score at 18-2
Kevin Waibel picked up his third foul with 5:14 left in the first half. Waibel
eventually fouled out.
With 2.8 seconds left in the half, the Eagles picked up a player technical foul in the
huddle sending the Potter's Will Headean to the line scoring the free throw. Headean had
11 first half points. Morton led Dunlap 38-7 at the half.
Wes Noel opened the second half scoring with a three and started a Dunlap comeback that
cut the Potter's lead to 22 at the close of the third quarter.
Noel made a layup with 3:17 left in the game to cut Morton's lead to 17 at 54-37. Noel
scored a three from the corner followed by a pair of made free throws by Drew Heinzmann to
cut the lead to 14 at 56-42 with 1:56 left in the game. Another Eagles three with :35.8
left made the score 57-45 Morton an that was as close as Dunlap would get.
Will Headean led Morton's scoring with 16, including three three-point goals. Coach
Schupp played the entire bench with all scoring except for Brett Bisping. Drew Heinzmann
topped Dunlap's scoring with 16.