Perez's teammates help shoulder leadership role
Morton senior Waller Perez is adjusting to leading the Mustangs
|Morton's Waller Perez takes a three-point shot during a win over Lyons Township Friday in LT's Thanksgiving tournament on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. (Staff photo by Bill Ackerman)|
STATS 15 points, nine rebounds per game last season
Every boys basketball coach in the area knows Waller Perez is the key to Morton. Shut him down and you have a better chance to beat the Mustangs.
The problem with that is, Perez is happy to let his supporting cast take the lead and they’re good enough to get the job done.
Early in the season, Perez has seen a lot of attention from opposing defenses, and the Mustangs are already adjusting. In the season opener, Fenwick made Perez the focus of its defense and it resulted in a 16-point Friar win.
“Fenwick triple teamed him the other day and limited his options,” Martinucci said. “He’s just gotta learn that everybody else has to shoot the ball so they can’t double team him.”
After that loss to Fenwick, the Mustangs regrouped and beat Lyons Township by 15 points in La Grange. Perez still drew frequent double teams from the LT defense and put up solid numbers (16 points and five rebounds), but Perez’s teammates were just as good.
Antario Simon came off the bench to score 16 points, junior guard Greg Carter scored 14 and sophomore Weisner Perez, Waller’s brother, hauled in 13 rebounds. The next night, five Mustangs scored in double figures in a 74-52 win over Argo. Morton finished the LT Thanksgiving Tournament 2-1.
“It’s a relief when teams double me or triple that other people can step up on our team,” Waller said. “I like to see the spark that we have on our bench.”
Waller and Weisner grew up playing pick up games together and played in some YMCA leagues growing up, but this season will be the most court time they will share in a competitive team. Weisner came off the bench last year, but is a starter this year.
“I love it because me and him are so close off the court, on the court it just translates,” Waller said. “He’s a great player, great kid and he hustles.”
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