Morton Lady Potters 60, Bloomington 40
I heard the Bloomington coach tonight. Small animals burrowed deeper into the forest on hearing the Bloomington coach tonight. Perhaps Bob Becker, stuck at home with Covid-19 tonight, raised a window to hear better what he thought might be a grizzly in the garden, only to find it was the Bloomington coach ratzenfratzing the referees, for which the coach earned one warning, one technical foul, and was told to stay after school and write on the blackboard 100 times, “We lost by 20, it wasn’t that close, sorry, Mr. and Ms. Referees.”
The only people who didn’t hear the Bloomington coach tonight were the people best prepared to render him mute, silent, and shaddup already.
Those were the Lady Potters, one of whom, Tatym Lamprecht, seemed puzzled when asked if she’d heard the Bloomington coach.
“Uh, no, really, I don’t hear anything out there,” she said. “Just kind of knew something was going on.”
I’m happy to report that — ignoring the high-volume coach attacking the zebras for an hour — the main thing going on tonight was Tatym Lamprecht at work with the basketball. The Potters played poorly in the first half, leading 17-16 at the intermission, raising the dread specter of a #1 seed losing to a #16 in the first round of the State Farm Holiday Classic. “We were getting good shots, but they weren’t falling,” assistant coach Dakota Neisen, standing in for Becker, said. I had the Potters 1-for-13 on 3’s at the intermission.
That changed quickly in the third quarter. “We’re good shooters,” Neisen said. “I told ’em to keep shooting. Then we exploded.” It was an explosion ignited by Lamprecht 22 seconds into the third quarter. From dead on at the top of the free throw circle, the junior guard squared up and . . .
Followed 28 seconds later by Maggie Hobson from the left corner, Katie Krupa from that neighborhood, and Hobson again from the left . . .. .
BANG BANG BANG!
In 2 minutes and 2 seconds, those four 3’s restored order to the universe.
Always relentless on defense, the Potters were suddenly playing with confidence born of those successes on offense. They moved to a 34-22 lead in four minutes of the third quarter. That means the Potters scored as many points in four minutes as they had scored in the first 16 minutes. By quarter’s end, they led 46-30. Yes: first half,17 points; third quarter 29 more. Krupa smiled wide and recalled previous nights this season when Becker’s baked-in insistence on third-quarter dominance had paid off. “That third quarter again,” the senior all-stater said.
The third quarter belonged to Lamprecht. She was 4-for-4 on 3’s The first lit the fuse. The second at 5:04 kept the lead at 10, as did the third at 2:51. Her fourth, with 10 seconds left in the quarter, made it 46-30 and we might speak of that shot as the shaddup-already-3. Game over, thank you very much.
“Tatym’s adjusted so well,” Krupa said of the junior guard who transferred to Morton from East Peoria this summer. “At East Peoria, she was just making shots. It’s such a different environment here. And she’s been so huge for us.”
Once again, folks, the valiant interviewer did his best to get a smiling word from the happy Lamprecht. But as I put a question to her — “How did that third quarter feel, making those 3’s?” — Krupa, standing there, interjected, “ELECTRIC!”
That praise caused Ms. Lamprecht to duck and hide, the shyest of stars. She did kind of whisper two words. I think she said, “Yes, electric.”
Yes, electric was the word.
Krupa led Morton with 24 points and Lamprecht had 17. (Four times in 11 victories, K & L have combined to ourscore the opponents.) Hobson had 13 and Addy Engel 6. (The Potters had nine 3’s tonight, 5 by Lamprecht, three by Hobson.)
The Potters’ second-round game will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday In the Normal Community gym against #9 seed Rock Island. a 54-36 first-round winner over Pekin.