Since opening the season with a one-sided loss to Fenwick, Morton has been lights out.
The No. 25 Mustangs scored the first 11 points of the game and used a 20-0 third quarter run to build a 46-point lead in thrashing Gage Park 74-46 in a first-round Proviso West Holiday tournament game Monday in Hillside.
The Mustangs advance to play unbeaten No. 21 Uplift in Friday’s second-round play.
Senior guard Jarvis Cannon scored 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting, hit three three-pointers and added five steals and three assists for the Mustangs (6-1).
“After the Fenwick game, we re-grouped as a team and came in with the mindset of playing hard and playing together,” Cannon said.
Cannon is a two-year starter for coach Tony Martinucci. He has expanded his offensive role to suit the changing needs of the team. With 6-7 star junior Weisner Perez (11 points, 12 rebounds) commanding lots of attention, Cannon has stepped up his game.
“I’ve probably been looking for my shot a little bit more this year, because obviously teams are going to guard Weisner, they’re going to guard Greg [Carter], so I have to be that other option.”
Senior wing forward Antario Simon also posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. He played with great flair in the open floor. He collected a rebound and dribbled the length of the floor for a dunk in the first quarter.
Perez is averaging a double-double on the season. He added five blocks and a steal to his all-around game.
“I lost 20 pounds, and I’ve gotten leaner and quicker,” he said. “That’s also helped a lot with my outside shot. I try to take and make at least one three every game.”
Playing in its first Proviso West tournament, the Owls (4-6) were star-struck and out of rhythm from the start. Gage Park was shut out the opening five minutes. Morton ended the first quarter on a 16-3 run for a 30-9 lead.
Morton led 48-18 at the break and turned the game into a rout with the 20-0 third quarter burst for the 68-22 lead. Carter added seven pints, four assists and two steals. Luke Belcaster also recorded seven points.
Twelve different players scored for Morton.
Keith Currie scored 16 points to lead the Owls. Cordell Ford added 11 points and Ricardo Kelly added nine points.