An impressive 3-point shooting performance wasn't enough for the Glenbard West Hilltoppers as they fell 86-61 to the Morton Mustangs in the Class 4A Morton boys basketball regional semifinal on Tuesday.
The Hilltoppers hit 11 from behind the arc, but the Mustangs matched Glenbard West with 11 of their own. Add that to Weisner Perez's 24 points down low for Morton and Glenbard West found itself in an uphill battle to get to the regional final.
"When you got three guys that can shoot the ball and (Jarvis Cannon) plays like that we're hard to beat because everyone knows Greg (Carter) and Weisner can shoot…," said Morton coach Tony Marinucci. "We can put five guys out there that can shoot. Now as long as we don't get hurt too badly at the other end we're OK."
From the start turnovers plagued Glenbard West as the Morton (20-5) high-pressure defense quickly turned into offense. The Mustangs went on a 10-0 run in the middle of the first quarter to get out to a 18-7 lead in the first eight minutes. It was a score the Mustangs home crowd could really get behind.
"(Our shooting) definitely opens a lot because they started in the zone and especially in the zone when we're shooting the ball it makes them get out of the zone," Weisner said. "It lets us hold the ball inside and pound it inside and we knew we had a big height advantage against them."
From then on Morton didn't disappoint its fans, dropping a 28-point second quarter to go into halftime ahead 46-23.
"They didn't get to be a No. 4 seed on accident," said Hilltoppers coach Tim Hoder. "They're a good team and they were playing really, really well. They were shooting it well, they attacked the basket well and they had good guards. We were going to need a lot of things to line up for us to beat them tonight. … I was pleased with our effort."
In the second half Morton continued to put the pressure on, but Glenbard West was able to find some shooting success through the 3-pointer. The Hilltoppers hit 8 of their 11 3s in the second half and dropped 22 points to Morton's 24 in the third.
Both teams closed with a 16-point fourth quarter, but it was too little too late for Glenbard West, which finished its season 14-13.
Cannon finished with 14 and Carter had 11 for the Mustangs. Glenbard West was led by Justin Pierce, who had 16 points for the Hilltoppers.