Campus News

Men’s basketball extends win streak to five by downing Lake County

By Morton College News | Posted January 17, 2013


 

Morton College was quickly unraveling late in its Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference men’s basketball game against Lake County January 15 at the Henry J. Vais Gymnasium in Cicero. A commanding double-digit lead had been cut in half, but Antonio Foster stepped up to put the Panthers back together again in a 66-48 victory at the Henry J. Vais Gymnasium in Cicero.

 

The 6-3 sophomore sparked a 12-0 run with a momentum-killing offensive rebound basket and then added a three-point play as the shot clock was winding down. Prior to his three-point play, Foster (team-leading 13 points) prevented a turnover by keeping a teammate’s high pass from going out of bounds.

 

“Antonio Foster, he’s the glue that keeps us together,” Morton College coach Conte Stamas said. “No question about that.”

 

While an 11-7 record isn’t particularly sexy, the Panthers are starting to attract the national spotlight based on quality, not quantity, thanks to wins over then top-10 ranked Kishwaukee and Moraine Valley. Morton College was among the teams listed receiving votes outside the top 20 in the latest NJCAA Division II poll released January 15.

 

The Panthers’ season-best fifth-straight win was one they certainly had to grind out minus key front liners Kijaune Leach and Phil Bishinskiy. Still, the Panthers had enough in the tank to move to 2-0 in the Illinois Skyway. Morton College forced 24 turnovers and guard Kylan Anderson took a pair of charges as the Panthers limited their second straight opponent to below 51 points.

 

“We weren’t mentally focused,” Stamas said. “Lake County played harder than us. I hope we learned a lesson from this even though we came away with a ‘W.’ We just can’t afford to have a letdown like this. We just can’t come in and go through the motions.”

 

The Panthers continued their recent trend of fast starts, scoring the game’s first 10 points and keeping Lake County off the board until five minutes into the contest. The Lancers closed to 22-21, but Morton College closed with an 8-0 behind Michael Johnson’s three-point play, Elliott Pleasant’s layup and Jason Suttle’s buzzer-beating three-pointer.

 

Johnson (11 points) and Demarius Miller (10) also were in double figures for Morton College, while Jacquez Jones added nine.

 

Morton College heads to Waubonsee Thursday, January 17, for a 7:15 p.m. meeting between the Skyway’s only pair of 2-0 teams.

 

“I expect Waubonsee to be physical and to pressure us,” Stamas said. “We’re usually the bigger team, but this might be the case where Waubonsee has more size than us.”




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