HILLSIDE – Morton and Proviso East met in a teaser of things to come Monday afternoon at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament.
Despite leading most of the game, Morton couldn't get an early victory against its West Suburban Gold rival. The Pirates won 74-70 in overtime in a fifth place semifinal.
Being a consolation game and a non-conference meeting between the two favorites in the Gold, it was an unusual feeling out process for both teams and coaches. Both teams applied atypical strategies.
“I think it was interesting in theory," Martinucci said. "At least we know to practice against the zone a little bit. They’ve never played a zone before. We’re playing man and they’re playing zone. Normally it’s always the opposite.”
The Pirates (9-2) didn't lead until the third quarter, and the Mustangs (7-3) led 48-42 after the third. Morton opened up a 61-52 lead in the fourth, but East used a 9-0 run to tie the game.
With the score tied 66-66, Morton had four shots at a go-ahead basket in the last minute, but none of them fell and the game went to overtime.
In overtime, the Pirates scored the final five points to win the game. Morton had a possession down 72-70 with less than 20 seconds remaining, but turned it over and Proviso East converted a lay up on the other end.
"I feel like we executed the game plan, but at the end they hit some pretty big shots," Morton senior forward Antario Simon said.
Greg Carter led Morton with 25 points. Weisner Perez had 23 points and 15 rebounds.
Morton will play Proviso East on Jan. 17 in Cicero. Feb. 15 Morton will travel to Maywood.
Morton finished the tournament 2-2 and next plays Jan. 4 against South Division High School in Milwaukee.