Stevenson pulls away from Morton in second half

Stevenson's boys basketball team needed a little bit a time to jump-start its game against Morton Wednesday morning.

When the Patriots hit their stride there wasn't too much the Mustangs could do to stop them.

Stevenson used a strong second half to pull out a 70-46 win in the first round of the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic. The 8-2 Patriots now face Maine South Thursday afternoon at 3:45 p.m.

Maine South was advanced to the quarterfinals when its first-round opponent, Oak Forest, had to forfeit due to team illness.

Morton (3-4) will play next Thursday in the consolation semifinals at 12:30 p.m.

"Our passing was effective and we made some nice dishes," said Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose. "Because of the passing our offense had some good shots. I thought our defense was pretty tough."

The Patriots' patient offense produced 17 assists, led by Evan Porto's 6 to go with his team-high 16 points.

"I wasn't hitting at first so now it was find the open man," said Porto. "Today we really looked for the open man. Our thinking was just one more pass. It's something we work on in practice. This tournament will help us find our game."

The Mustangs gave Stevenson a tough first half.

Thanks to two putback baskets by Dakari Durham at the end of the first quarter, Morton led 11-10.

Leading 15-14 with 4:40 left in the second quarter, the Patriots closed out the quarter with a 11-5 run to lead 26-19.

According to Morton coach Tony Martinucci, Jaden Evans' 3-pointer from midcourt started to turn the tide.

"Instead of being down 4 now were down 7," said Martinucci. "Then they start the third quarter with another 3 and we're down 10. They packed the inside on us and we were forced to shoot from outside."

Stevenson hit 5 of its 11 3-pointers baskets in the quarter to open a 49-33 lead. Porto scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half.

For the game Morton shot 4 -of 22 from 3-point range and 19 of 52 overall

Victor Garrett led Morton with 13 points. Jamari Ball scored 9 points. Adrian Anderson and Durham each had 8 points.

On the other side of the ledger, the Patriots received 14 points from David Sulnius with 3 assists. Christian Uremovich added 13 points to go with 8 rebounds.

The Patriots' reserves combined for 21 points in the win.

"Our players that come off the bench ready to play," said Sulnius. "Our bigs did a good job finding the open man if they were covered. It's fun playing with this group of players."

Evans, who scored 6 points, also had 10 rebounds and 4 assists.

"We have some experience with our seniors and they have been through battles," said Ambrose. "We're a pretty versatile team. In this tournament I want them to experience other teams' styles. It's important for them to learn how to react."

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