Posted On: 03/2/19 10:22 AM
Morton will play for its fourth state championship in five years on Saturday afternoon. The Potters can join Chicago Marshall and Montini as the only programs to accomplish the feat. Glenbard South will have something to say about it as Morton’s opponent in the IHSA Class 3A State Championship Game.
Nazareth will play Sacred Heart-Griffin in the third-place game. Here is how the teams got here.
Morton 65, Nazareth 51
Nazareth held an 11-4 lead after the first quarter with every point coming off turnovers and getting eight in the paint. Morton began to pack it in even more, collapsing on Harvard recruit Annie Stritzel (2019) and Kaylen Evans (2020). The duo combined for 40-of-51 Nazareth points. The Potters got it going with Butler recruit Tenley Dowell (2019) leading the way early on, freeing up Katie Krupa (2022) and Alabama-Birmingham recruit Lindsey Dullard (2020) in the second half.
The difference: The Roadrunners didn’t have a third scorer step up. The team was 19-for-52 for the game but take away Stritzel and Evans, and the rest of the team was 4-for-20. Stritzel was 0-for-6 from 3-point range before hitting her first one, finishing 3-for-10. Morton began to limit its turnovers and packed the paint to force many perimeter shots.
MVP: Tenley Dowell – 23 points (7-9/1-1/8-9); 8 rebounds, 2 assists and defended Stritzel.
Morton impression: Katie Krupa was spectacular once again. She’s come on strong this postseason and scored 17 points, seven of which came during a decisive 12-2, third-quarter run. She also grabbed four rebounds, blocked two shots and got a steal. Her development has been incredible on the low block and she’s playing with confidence.
Nazareth impression: For as poorly as the score looks, Nazareth played very well while battling foul trouble. The Roadrunners turned it over 11 times but got back defensively and didn’t allow any fastbreak points, even against Morton’s press. Stritzel can play and has elevated her game from last year’s state finals (the last time I saw her). There’s a tight bond with this team.
Glenbard South 32, Sacred Heart-Griffin 27
There’s no beating around the bush, this game was ugly. It featured an 6 minute, 58-second stretch where neither team scored a point. That is from Maddie Manker’s (2019) free throw with 4:53 left in the first half to make it 17-10 to Maggie Bair’s (2019) layup with 5:55 left in the third quarter to cut the SH-G lead to 17-12. There were multiple lulls of over two minutes without points. All total, there were 29 turnovers, 12 points off those turnovers and 59 fouls.
The difference: The Cyclones led for 22:08 but the pace favored Glenbard South all game. Even facing a seven point deficit at halftime, the Raiders were in a good spot, having shot 4-for-23 in the first half to SH-G’s 5-for-15 (missing its last five shots). Bair was the difference as, seemingly, the only player that had a decent game.
MVP: Maggie Bair – 16 points (7-16/1-4/1-3); 13 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 blocks and 1 assist
Glenbard South impression: The Raiders play a slow, methodical pace and are comfortable trailing. Glenbard South will have a shot against Morton if it can control the tempo, but even then the Potters have great discipline. It will be up to Lauren Cohen (2021), Raquel LaPonte (2020) and Iman Sellers (2021) to battle through screens and match Morton’s physicality.
Sacred Heart-Griffin impression: Payton Vorreyer (2019) can play. She’s physical, aggressive and scrappy but smart about not getting out-of-control. She scored a team-high 12 points, though shooting 4-for-12, and grabbed seven rebounds. Sophie Lowis (2021) is a good guard to develop and build off of. She was 2-for-9 from the floor but grabbed three rebounds and had three steals. She has good 3-point range and isn’t afraid to shoot it.