After losing to Moline in the opening game of day number two of the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament, Morton earned a narrow victory over Hersey, 55-51 in its second game of the day.
The Potters held the lead for less than one minute in the game.
Morton’s first lead was thanks to Ryan Altenberger, who hit a 3-pointer to open scoring.
Once again, Altenberger made another 3-pointer with 4:07 left in the first quarter to give Morton a 6-5 lead.
Hersey attacked the other end of the floor and scored, marking the last time Morton would hold the lead until the end of the game.
Hersey controlled the first half with fluid offense, paced by Joe Coffaro, who made three 3-pointers in the first half for nine points.
However, moments before halftime Coffaro suffered an injury and did not play in the second half.
Without it’s leading scorer, Hersey maintained the lead, going into the fourth quarter with a 38-31 lead.
Altenberger, who scored a game high 27 points, made two 3-pointers in the span of two minutes to bring Morton within four with 1:17 left in the game.
Following a Morton timeout, Hersey controlled the basketball under it’s own hoop.
The Potters forced back-to-back turnovers, leading to two Jarrett Crider layups to tie the game with one minute to play.
“We really just wanted to try to press them to see if we could get them to turn the ball over,” Crider said.
After another defensive stop, Morton held the ball for the final shot.
Driving to the basket, Crider was fouled with five seconds left.
He made both attempts, giving Morton a 53-51 advantage.
Tucker Anderson stole the inbounds once again after Crider’s free throws and was fouled as well, making both shots to clinch a 55-51 win.
“I give our guys credit for hanging in there and making plays,” Brown said. “They made the steals when we needed them.”
With the win, Morton will play the winner of the game between Pekin and Washington which was not completed as of press time Wednesday, for fifth place at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.