The speed, intensity and adrenalized fury of playing against an undefeated team started to get to Greg Carter.
To that point the normally sharpshooting Morton guard saw one shot after another go errant. “I was missing them all and I was just wishing they’d go in,” he said.
“I was just thinking too much about my shot, and I just told myself to stop thinking and just shoot them,” Carter said.
The senior Morton star drilled four three-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 19 of his game-high 24 points after halftime as No. 25 Morton broke open a tight game to knock out previously unbeaten No. 21 Uplift 65-50 in a second-round Proviso West Holiday tournament game Friday morning in Hillside.
Carter hit three three-pointers as Morton (7-1) started the fourth quarter with a 14-2 burst for a commanding 54-37 lead. Carter scored 14 points in the final quarter. He added six rebounds, five assists and four steals.
After absorbing Morton’s initial run to start the game, Uplift could not answer.
Morton ran out to a 10-0 lead in the opening three and a half minutes. Uplift settled down and started to play its game. “They’re so dangerous because they don’t have just one guy you can focus on,” Morton coach Tony Martinucci said. “They five guys who can really play.”
Foul trouble to Morton star junior wing forward Weisner Perez took the Mustangs out of their offense. “I couldn’t get a bucket to save my life, but fortunately teammates trusted me and I knew eventually they were going to fall,” Perez said.
Junior forward Jamaya Wyatt posted a double-double with 13 points and 17 rebounds for the Titans (12-1). His turnaround with 5:30 to play in the third gave Uplift its first lead at 25-24.
After missing 4-of-5 shots in the first half and both three-point attempts, Carter caught fire. It carried benefits for Perez. “Once Greg hit a couple of shots, they had to come out and guard him and that left Weisner open in the paint,” Martinucci said.
The third quarter featured three ties and two lead changes.
Perez used his speed and size to get to the basket, scoring six points as Morton went up 40-35 to start the fourth quarter. “This was a huge game for us, especially with them being ranked and undefeated,” Perez said.
“We threw a punch at the start of the first quarter and after that, they threw their punch and then we just finished them off.”
Senior forward Antario Simon added nine points and six rebounds for the Mustangs.
Junior wing forward Jeremy Roscoe scored 10 points, but he was harrassed into 4-of-13 shooting. Guard Quintin Olagbegi added nine points for the Titans. Uplift shot just 1-of-15 on three-pointers.
“That was our main goal defensively, to zone them and not let them hit threes,” Martinucci said.