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Greg Carter's performance deserved his fans' MVP chants.
Carter dropped 35 points in Morton's 77-74 triple-overtime win over the York Dukes in the Class 4A Bartlett boys basketball sectional semifinals on Tuesday night.
After the Mustangs had dropped a 21-point third quarter to go into the fourth leading 46-30, it seemed the Dukes' time was up. A 13-0 run to start the fourth quarter gave the Dukes new life.
York fought back and forced overtime after Jack Heinle put back Jayvon Thomas's missed drive to tie the game 51-51. It was Heinle's only field goal of regulation time.
"That was my fault," Morton coach Tony Martinucci said. "The kids stopped playing. (We) were gonna hold the ball and we ran out of gas."
The first overtime period was much like the end of the fourth quarter as both teams were neck and neck all the way to the final 3.4 seconds, when Thomas found himself at the line for York with both teams at 57-57.
Thomas sunk both free throws. But Carter was fouled at the very end of the period putting the York comeback in jeopardy.
"We have high-character kids and it really showed," Dukes coach Vince Doran said. "We continued to battle, took the lead and put ourselves in a great position. Give Morton credit. They made one more play than us, really. It hurts like hell right now, but the call at the end of (the first overtime) was a real tough one."
Carter drained both free throws to force a second overtime period with the teams tied 59-59.
"I tried not to be nervous because when you're nervous you put more pressure on yourself," Carter said. "So I tried to just go up there relaxed and if I missed it, it was on me and I would take that."
"Unbelievable," Martinucci said of Carter's performance. "Two free throws with no time on the clock? It was unbelievable."
In the second and third overtime periods, Carter took over. He hit the field goal with five seconds left to force the third overtime and went 9 of 14 from the free-throw line in the second and third overtime periods to give his team the 77-74 win.
York's Thomas finished with a team-high 18 points while York center Frank Toohey, an Air Force recruit, had 14 points and Stanley Roberts had 17. All three fouled out by the time the third overtime period had started.