Preps Talk

Morton runs away from North Lawndale for 3A title

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Morton runs away from North Lawndale for 3A title

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) - Morton won its first girls state 3A championship last year led by powerhouse guard Chandler Ryan. In December, during the early weeks of another astonishing season for the Potters, she suffered a season-ending ACL tear in her knee.

On Saturday, Morton (33-3) beat North Lawndale 58-41 to defend its title. Ryan was on the bench, watching, when coach Bob Becker leaned over and told her to take off her warm-up outfit.

So, fittingly, with less than 30 seconds left in the game and limping badly, a sobbing Chandler Ryan entered a high school basketball game for the final time. The crowd roared its approval. Becker immediately called a time out and took her out of the game, but the point was made.
Ryan, who was averaging nearly 20 points per game when she was injured, was the team’s leader, and always had been.

“It was a collective decision to put Chandler in,” Becker said. “She’s a great kid, and great leader. She deserved that.”

Teammate Brandi Bisping led the Potters with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Bisping, a junior, assumed Ryan’s leadership role and averaged 14.6 points per game. Tenley Dowell added 11 points for the Potters.

“These kids are just special,” Becker said. “They are winners. They always have been, and they always will be. I feel so blessed to have been a part of this whole thing.”

Kia Brooks and DeAsa Almon each scored 13 points for North Lawndale (23-12). Brooks also grabbed a game-high 9 rebounds.

Morton never trailed in the game, jumping out to a 12-1 lead midway through the first half. Morton went 14-33 from the field (42.4 percent) and 27-33 from the free-throw line. North Lawndale shot 15-46 (32.6 percent) and 7-10 from the line.

It was sweet revenge for the Potters, who fell to Lawndale 48-46 in four overtimes during the State Farm Holiday Classic on Dec. 29. Bisping led all scorers with 23 points.

“I don’t think Morton necessarily did anything special today,” said Phoenix coach Corey Morgan. “There was just a lid on the basket for us from the very beginning. That said, they’ve been here before and you could tell by how poised they seemed.”

In Friday’s semifinals, Morton beat Morgan Park 54-39 and North Lawndale defeated Highland 59-57 in double overtime.

89 Days to Kickoff: St. Charles East

89 Days to Kickoff: St. Charles East

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: St. Charles East

Head coach: Bryce Farquhar

How they fared in 2017: 8-3 (4-2 Upstate 8 River Conference), St. Charles East made the 2017 IHSA state Class 8A playoff field. The Saints defeated Oswego East then lost to eventual 8A state champion Lincoln-Way East in second round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Rock Island

Aug. 31 @ Carmel

Sept. 7 vs Glenbard North

Sept. 14 @ Wheaton South

Sept. 21 vs Geneva

Sept. 28 @ St. Charles North

Oct. 5 vs Batavia

Oct. 12 @ Wheaton North

Oct. 19 vs Lake Park

[MORE: 90 Days to Kickoff - Warren]

Biggest storyline: The Saints have had impressive campaigns the last two seasons. Can they continue to prosper in the newly-formed DuKane Conference?

Names to watch this season: RB/LB Justin Jett and OL Dylan Barrett

Biggest holes to fill: The Saints will look to reload at a few key spots including at quarterback, as Clayton Isbell has moved on to Illinois State. Replacing RB/LB Nick Garlisch (South Dakota St.) will be key as well.

EDGY's Early Take: Coach Bryce Farquhar's Saints have produced playoff seasons in back-to-back years. Now, their regular season ramps up a bit with the newly-formed DuKane Conference. The new league features some former Upstate Eight conference foes in St. Charles North, Batavia and Geneva, plus former DuPage Valley members Wheaton Warrenville South, Wheaton North, Glenbard North and Lake Park. Look for the Saints to rely on some experience up front. Three starters are back on the offensive line, including junior OG Dylan Barrett. He has already added several FBS level scholarship offers. 

90 Days to Kickoff: Warren

90 Days to Kickoff: Warren

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Warren Township

Head coach: Bryan McNulty

Assistant coaches: Jim Voutiritsas, Brandon Schild, Justin Van Schaik, Tayler Erbach and Mark Mika

How they fared in 2017: 7-4 (5-2 North Suburban Conference). Warren Township made the IHSA 8A playoff field. The Blue Devils defeated Bolingbrook then lost to Maine South in second round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule

Aug. 24 vs Barrington

Aug. 31 @ Glenbard North

Sept. 7 vs Waukegan

Sept. 14 vs Libertyville

Sept. 21 @ Lake Forest

Sept. 28 @ Zion-Benton

Oct. 5 vs Lake Zurich

Oct. 12 vs Stevenson

Oct. 19 @ Mundelein

Biggest storyline: Can The Blue Devils make it back-to-back postseason appearances and challenge for the North Suburban Conference title?

Names to watch this season: DL Zack Pelland, DT Willis Singleton and RB Martin Walker

Biggest holes to fill: The Blue Devils will need to find a new pass/catch tandem to replace graduated QB Ian Schilling and a strong group in the skills department, led by WR Micah Jones (Notre Dame).  

EDGY's Early Take: The Blue Devils had a nice 2017 season. After starting seven sophomores on the varsity level a year ago, head coach Bryan McNulty has the rare combination of youth and experience this fall. The defense will be a definite strength going into the season. The offense will rely on the running game, which features four starting offensive linemen back in the fold along with senior RB Martin Walker. If the passing game can come along, this team can once again challenge in the North Suburban Conference race and also in the overall 8A picture.