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Boys Basketball | Morton gets one win at Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic

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By Steve Millar
Correspondent

After a tough start to open the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic, Morton came away with a much-needed victory in its third game.

The Mustangs, led by senior guard Adrian Anderson’s 16 points, topped Glenbard East, 73-70, in consolation action on Dec. 28.

It was a welcome result after sustaining two consecutive defeats, 59-37 to DePaul and 65-58 to Richards, to begin the tournament.

Anderson said the Mustangs (6-7 entering this week) had to turn the page and come back ready to win.

“Just go to the next day, forget about what happened the last day and try to bounce back, because every game matters and every win matters,” Anderson said.

Junior guard Fabien Tucker scored 14 points, junior forward Michael Barnes had 13 points and 13 rebounds and senior forward Victor Garrett contributed 12 points in just 14 minutes.

The Mustangs trailed 55-49 early in the fourth quarter, but rallied behind six points from Garrett and five from Barnes.

Morton did a good job getting to the basket down the stretch.

“We noticed really early this week that our 3s weren’t falling,” Anderson said. “We had to make the effort to get to the basket and score in different ways.”

Anderson often drove and dished to teammates for easy baskets.

“I always look for my teammates and anything I can do to make the game easier for them and get them their points — I want to do it,” Anderson said.

Garrett was injured early in the game and Morton struggled without one of its team leaders, but pulled the win out anyway. Garrett’s return in the fourth quarter provided a big boost.

“Victor getting hurt changed the whole game,” Morton coach Tony Martinucci said. “He’s the key to the team. Then we missed free throws.

“The game should have never been that close, but we played good. I think we could have played better. It was good to get that win, though.”

Morton fell 65-61 to Willowbrook in its tournament finale.

For the event, Anderson averaged 14.8 points and 5.8 rebounds, Tucker scored 13.8 points per game, Garrett averaged 12.3 points and 9.5 rebounds and Barnes contributed averages of 7.5 points and six rebounds.

Anderson believes Morton can have success in 2023 if it limits the mistakes.

“For us to keep going and getting better, it’s just focusing on the little things,” Anderson said. “Then everything will fall into place. We have great togetherness and we play for each other.”

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