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Big four gives Morton hope for strong year

Returners give Mustangs a talented core

Caption
(Staff photo by Sarah Minor)
Rodrigo Nava of Morton goes up for a dunk during practice on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012.

At a glance
COACH
Tony Martinucci2011-12 RECORD 13-13 (6-6 West Suburban Gold)TOP PLAYERS Gregory Carter    jr.    G Rodrigo Nava    sr.    F Waller Perez    sr.    F Weisner Perez    so.    FFIRST GAME 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21 vs. Fenwick at Lyons Township tournament

3 Projected Morton starters who stand 6-foot-4 or taller

WHAT TO WATCH Morton has a big four, but coach Tony Martinucci is hoping the Mustangs can find four more to be a true contender.

Seniors Rodrigo Nava, Waller Perez and junior Gregory Carter have multiple years of varsity experience each, and sophomore Weisner Perez is a talented big man that should come into his own this year. Nava and Waller and Weisner Perez give the Mustangs a trio of talented frontcourt players, which has led to Martinucci going away from the pressing style that Morton has become known for.

“I anticipate we’re going to play a little different than what we’ve played the last 14 years and we’ll probably slow it up a little bit more to use their physical strength,” Martinucci said. “You gotta coach what you got. We’ve got smart kids and we’re a little bit more physical than we’ve been in the past.”

The big men have strength and athleticism inside, but they will need Carter to play well at point guard to get them the ball. Carter is a deadly three-point shooter and has the speed to run the fast break.

Outside of those four experienced players the Mustangs have a bunch of unknown quantities. If Morton gets a few players to add depth, they could be making a deep postseason run.

“We got four very good players that could make probably any team, but we gotta come up with four more somewhere,” Martinucci said. “If we can develop a bench by the second half of the season that will be the key to how far we go in the playoffs or if we can get 18, 20 wins again.”

Martinucci was reluctant to mention winning the conference as a goal because of the overpowering talent of Proviso East, last year’s Class 4A runner-up.

“With East you have to put everything in perspective. I think they might even be rated No. 1 in state, but we played them very good the second time. I thought we gave them the best game of anybody in the conference.”

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