2022 Sectional Champions!!

The Morton Lady Potters are your 2022 Sectional Champions (LaSalle-Peru Sectional), defeating Mid-Illini Conference foe Washington High School 44-38. The Lady Potters will travel to Streator High School on Monday, February 28th to take on the Marian Catholic Spartans in the Super-Sectional as the Potters will attempt to advance to Redbird Arena for the 6th time in the last 8 years! PDR_6974

Seniors 2022! Senior Night February 8th…

Come on out to the PotterDome tonight and cheer on these Morton Lady Potter Seniors as they play for the last time in their Home floor! Each of the Seniors will be recognized & honored before and after the game.  Game time is 7pm vs Limestone!

Pink Night 2022

  1. Thank you to all who made Pink Night 2022 happen! The Lady Potters raised over $22,000 for Illinois Cancer Care Foundation & beat Pekin to improve their season record to  22-4 / 11-2.

Morton Lady Potters to Honor Brandi Bisping & Chandler Ryan

On Saturday, January 29, 2022, the Morton Lady Potters will recognize & celebrate the careers & accomplishments of former star players Chandler Ryan & Brandi Bisping. There will be a ceremony prior to the home varsity game vs Metamora and the jerseys of these two outstanding players will be permanently displayed in the PotterDome alongside legendary Morton Lady Potters Tracy Pontius, Brooke Bisping & Cindy Baumgarner!

Here is summary of their career basketball highlights:

Lady Potters Cinnamon Roll Fundraiser!

The Morton High School Lady Potters are excited to partner with Braker’s Market in Eureka for the 1st time to help raise support for the girls basketball program. We will be selling their delicious cinnamon rolls, and you definitely don’t want to miss out!! This year, we will be selling the cinnamon rolls over the course of 2 nights from 5-8:30p (January 27th & 29th)! The cinnamon rolls will be sold for $10 or 2 for $18. They are great fresh or after being frozen! They can be picked up at the concession stand, by the gym entrance with canopy doors. If you have any questions, would like to order several or have any “held”, please contact Libby Swearingen at (309) 696-7182. Thanks!

In addition to getting to purchase some cinnamon rolls, the JV/Varsity teams will also be playing @ 5:30/7p against Washington on the 27th and Metamora on the 29th! Two great nights to come out and cheer on your Potters!
Thanks in advance for your support!!

2021 Morton Thanksgiving Tournament Champs!

The Lady Potters started out the season strong with 4 impressive wins in the Morton Thanksgiving Tournament. Winning each game by double digits and we’re never really threatened. Looks like these Lady Potters will definitely be fun to watch this year!

Morton Lady Potters 20-21 Varsity Team

The 2019-20 Morton Lady Potters put together a historic season that included a school record 37 wins (2nd most in IHSA history) & a return trip to Redbird Arena for the Final 4 & a State Runner-up finish.  The 2019-20 Lady Potters won 6 Championships, along the way to their 37-1 season, including the Morton Thanksgiving Tournament Championship, State Farm Holiday Classic Championship, Mid-Illini Conference Championship, Regional, Sectional & Super-Sectional Championships.

Last season’s Lady Potters team graduated 7 Seniors, including All-Conference/All-State players Lindsey Dullard (C), Courtney Jones (C), Peyton Dearing & Maddy Becker (C), as well as prime time reserves Olivia Remmert (C), Makenna Baughman & Abby Steider.  This Senior Class of 2020 had unprecedented success for the Lady Potter Program, finishing their careers with a record of 135-8, including 2x IHSA State Champions & a Runner-up trophy.   Jones, Dullard, Becker & Remmert had a perfect Conference record (56-0) in their 4 years with the Potters, which had never been done before.  Some pretty big shoes to fill indeed!

However, it seems that each year, the Lady Potters graduate great players, and then a new batch of Lady Potters step into those roles and achieve their own success.  This season the Lady Potters will return All-Conference/All-State Junior starter Katie Krupa, as well as Seniors; Raquel Frakes, Cailyn Cowley, Sedona McCartney, Claire Reiman & Faith Hostetler, Juniors; Maggie Hobson & Paige Griffin & Sophomore Gaby Heer.  They will be joined by first year varsity players Paige Chapin (Jr), Maria Lopko (Jr), Abbey Pollard (So), Addyson Engel (Fr) & Graci Unis (Fr). They will look to carry on the traditions of Sisterhood & Excellence.

With the adversity & challenges that 2020 has presented, we are all very hopeful that these Lady Potters get the opportunity to show what they can do.  As always, your support & encouragement for the Lady Potters means more than you can imagine.  As you have proved every year…  Potter Fans are the BEST!!!

FUTURE CHAMPIONS Morton Lady Potter Summer Basketball Camps 2021

This is where the journey begins. All of our players were once summer campers like you. Join our championship players and coaches this summer to begin learning the Potter Way. You will learn fundamentals of basketball while meeting new friends and having FUN. All camps are instructed by Morton 709 coaches and players. Each camper will be treated with TLC (tender loving care) and it’s our hope for all campers to learn some basketball, meet new friends, and have fun while sparking a love for Lady Potter Basketball! We look forward to working with you!

 

Shooting & Offensive Skills Camp        May 24th – May 27th          Grades 1-6   9am-11am   $75

This camp is all about offense!  Ballhandling, passing, footwork, moves & finishes and shooting fundamentals will be emphasized.  Campers will be instructed on shooting mechanics along with an array of individual offensive skills designed to help each player succeed on the offensive end of the court.  All campers will receive a t-shirt.  Four day camp runs Monday – Thursday and will utilize the High School East Gym as well as the new Junior High Gym.  All campers should report to the high school east gym on day one.

FUNdamental Camp                      June 14th-17th                             Grades 1-6   9am-11am   $75

Our FUNdamental Camp will consist of fun, action-packed four days designed to develop each camper’s fundamental skills and overall playing ability. Fundamentals will be stressed but fun is main priority!  Camp will include team-oriented situations as well as individual skill development and a variety of camp games.  We want camp to be an enjoyable Potter experience working with our players and coaching staff.  This is a great way to meet other kids interested in basketball and learn a bit of our Potter Way.  All campers will receive a t-shirt at each camp.  Four day camp runs Monday – Thursday and will utilize the High School East Gym as well as the new Junior High Gym.  All campers should report to the high school east gym on day one.

 

Morton Potters & Junior Potters         Grades 7th-12th                     $80

 Shooting & Offensive Skill Development      May 24th – May 27th          11:00am-1:00pm

 Developing Team Concepts                               June 14th- 17th                  11:00am-1:00pm

These eight dates are for Morton High School and Morton Junior High aged players and are designed to help build championship players. Individual skill development along with introducing team concepts will be emphasized. All players planning to play during the summer and winter are strongly encouraged to participate. These count as some of our IHSA contact dates and will serve as some summer practices.  Each camp will run Monday – Thursday and utilize the high school east gym as well as new junior high gym.  All campers should plan to meet at high school on day one.

 

Please click the following link for Registration Form: Morton Lady Potters Summer Camps 2021 Registration Form

Please direct all questions to Morton Head Coach Bob Becker

Email: Robert.becker@mcusd709.org                        Phone # 309-642-4432

Be sure to visit our Morton Lady Potter Basketball website!             www.mortonladypotters.com 

 

MLP Summer Camp 1MLP Summer Camp 2MLP Summer Camp3MLP Summer Camp4

Morton Lady Potter 2021 Seniors

Hats off to Morton Lady Potter 2021 Seniors; Raquel Frakes, Faith Hostetler, Claire Reiman, Cailyn Cowley & Sedona McCartney, as they play their final Lady Potter games.

Donald Pyles Photographs – PDR_4249

This year’s Morton Lady Potter Senior Class & their teammates have had to endure more uncertainty & adversity than perhaps any that have came before them.  COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on this year’s team in almost every facet and it started within days of last year’s State Championship game.  COVID-19 protocols robbed these Seniors, last year’s Seniors & team of final closure on their season, with no banquet or awards ceremony for that historic team.  Then summer camps, conditioning, team bonding, summer leagues were taken away from this team, which is usually the time of the year that teams start to form their identity. Then before the season could even get started, back in November, it was indefinitely postponed and no one was sure that there would even be a season.

So Thanksgiving & Christmas came & went with no holiday tournaments.  No games in November, or December, or January.  Just as most everyone had given up hope that there would be a high school season, all of a sudden, pretty much out of the blue, the powers that be announced that “Yes IHSA, you may allow your schools to have a limited season, with limited attendance, starting NEXT WEEK”, more than two and a half months after the season was supposed to start.

So the no-sports mandate was lifted & schools administrators, coaches & players all scrambled to get the season underway.  And gratefully so.  You see, playing basketball is all these players wanted to do all along.  To get the opportunity to play the sport they love, for their school & with their school teammates.  Even if that meant a playing a condensed season, with small crowds & wearing masks.  At least they would get the opportunity to play, which was much better than the alternative of not playing at all.

Donald Pyles Photographs
Donald Pyles Photographs

That is an awful lot to endure in itself, not to mention following in the footsteps of the great Lady Potter teams that had come before them & the pressure that naturally comes with that.  This team and this Senior Class forged through all of that & in many ways, exceeded expectations, even among all of the adversity that COVID-19 could throw at them.  This team, like the Lady Potter teams that came before them, has made us all proud of them.  After all, ‘Tradition Never Graduates’!!!

Donald Pyles Photographs

 

Morton Lady Potters Place 5 on Mid-Illini All-Conference Teams

The Morton Lady Potters had 5 players selected for Mid-Illini All-Conference Honors for the 2019-2020 Season.  Seniors Courtney Jones (C), Lindsey Dullard (C), Peyton Dearing, Maddy Becker (C) & Sophomore Katie Krupa all had exceptional seasons for the Lady Potters & dominated the Mid-Illini Conference again this year, finishing the Conference season undefeated (14-0) again this year.  Congratulations Ladies & Well Deserved!

PotterDomination… Morton Seniors Standing at the ‘Pinnacle of Perfection’ in the Mid-Illini!!!!

‘Mid-Illini Dominance’
Morton’s Senior Class (2020) has seen unprecedented success this season & in their Morton Lady Potter careers.  They are approaching the ‘Pinnacle of Perfection’ in terms of Mid-Illini Conference dominance, as they look to go 56-0 in Mid-Illini Conference play over their 4 years at Morton.  Senior Captains & 4-year Varsity veterans, Lindsey Dullard & Courtney Jones knew, coming into the season, that if they could run the table one more time, they would accomplish something that no other team, or player, had done before in going undefeated all 4 years in Conference play & they made it one of their goals. So far so good for the Lady Potters as they are currently at 54 wins and 0 losses going into the final week of Conference play. Wins over Limestone (Tuesday, Feb 11th) & Dunlap (Friday, Feb 14th) would see the Lady Potters reach their goal of Perfection on Senior Night!

Morton’s Seniors have not only won all 54 of their previous Conference games, they have won them in impressive fashion, outscoring their Mid-Illini opponents by an average of 32.19 points per game over the last 4 years.  This season, through 12 games, the Lady Potters have a 31.92 point differential against Conference opponents.
Sounds impressive, even before you mention that in most of these Conference games, the Lady Potter starters only played 18-20 minutes per game (because of their ginormous leads), vs the 25-30 minutes per game of starters from several other schools.

So you might think these Lady Potters could possibly overlook a Conference opponent some night right? After all of their success, it would seem possible, if not probable.  “Not a chance!” says  Jones, who has played in all 54 victories.  “It really boils down to not looking past anyone and bringing your best effort each & every night. It may sound cliche, but we really do attack each game one at a time.  If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have the success we have had”, she explains.   Dullard echoes, Jones’ assessment & adds “We love every opportunity to compete.  We don’t care what the opponent’s record is or whatever success we have had against them in the past”.  Jones adds “It’s just what we do!”

‘A Numbers Game’
The Lady Potters have had some incredible numbers to reflect on this season & this bodes well for the posts-season. Take look at some of these interesting numbers:

1355 – Career Points so far by Lady Potter Sr Capt Guard Lindsey Dullard

735 – Number of Points scored by the Morton Lady Potters in 12 Conference games

352 – Number of Points allowed by the Morton Lady Potters in 12 Conference games

184 – Number of made 3-pointers by the Morton Lady Potters this season

150 – Sr Capt Point Guard Courtney Jones Assist total so far this season (3:1 AST Ratio)

124 – Sr Capt Point Guard Courtney Jones Rebound total so far this season

94 – Jr Forward Raquel Frakes’ current broad jump in inches

87 – So Katie Krupa’s Free Throw Shooting %

79 – Current Team Free Throw Shooting %

59 – The number of consecutive Mid-Illini victories by the Lady Potters

50 – Sr Shooting Guard Peyton Dearing’s 3-point % through 29 games (45-90)

39 – The number of consecutive games won by the Lady Potters, dating back to last season

29 – The Lady Potters are 29-0 this season heading into their Tuesday match-up with Limestone

28 – Jr Forward Raquel Frakes’ current vertical in inches

27 – The number of Rebounds per game the Lady Potters average

9 – Number of wins needed to win a 5th State Championship in 6 years

‘Post-Season Path to Redbird’
IHSA Post-Season Assignments, Seedings and Brackets have been released & the Lady Potters will not have to travel very far for Regionals. They were assigned the #1 overall seed in the Sub-Sectional and will just make the hop, skip & jump over to Washington for their Regional play. They will start Regional action on Tuesday, Feb 18 at 6:00PM vs the winner of Streator & East Peoria. A Victory there would advance them to the Regional Championship vs the Winner of Washington & LaSalle-Peru on Friday, February 21 at 7:00PM.

If the Lady Potters advance to the Rock Island Sectional, the Sectional Semi-Finals will be played Monday, February 24 at 6:00PM, with the Sectional Final on Thursday, Feb 27 at 7:00PM. There are some outstanding teams assigned to the Rock Island Sectional. 5 of the 10 Top ranked teams in the State are assigned there with #1 Morton, #5 Peoria Central, #6 Richwoods, #7 Kankakee, #8 Geneseo, not to mention State Ranked Rock Island & Washington. Another darkhorse team that could very well be entering the post-season with 20 wins is Metamora. So the winner of the Rock Island Sectional is going to earn their ticket to the Super-Sectional, which will be played at Kankakee, on Monday, Mar 2 at 7:00PM.

The State Finals will be played Friday, Mar 6 & Saturday, Mar 7 at Redbird Arena. Old foes Montini & Chicago Simeon will likely be there waiting, as they are by far the strongest teams in their respective Sectionals. We hope you follow & support the Lady Potters along their journey. Win or lose, they will be playing their hearts out for the Lady Potter Faithful!!!

‘Don Pyles Pictures’

Now at 22-0, the Lady Potters are rolling in 2020…

Just three weeks into 2020, the Morton Lady Potters have had a number of challenges thrown at them.  From facing tough, State ranked competition on the road, to battling through injuries to key players, managing #1 rankings, winning streaks and reaching milestones, these Lady Potters have passed every test to improve their season record to 22-0.

Into the Lions Den
The Lady Potters first game in 2020 was a trip into the Lions Den to face the formidable Peoria High Lions who are currently 17-3 and ranked #7 in the State of Illinois in the latest AP poll.  I think they may be underrated at #7 myself.  The Lions play fast and furious on defense and like to make their opponents uncomfortable by speeding them up and making decisions quicker than they want to.  The Lady Potters were expecting the inevitable pressure and physical play of the Lions coming into the game, but it still caused headaches for the Potters.  A season high 21 turnovers was a result.  It certainly didn’t help matters that the Lady Potters were still trying to adjust to life without their star 6th man, Raquel Frakes, who broke a bone in her left wrist vs Lincoln-Way West at the State Farm Classic in December.  Coach Becker used the opportunity to test some players that had not been put in that situation before.  Luckily the Lady Potters were able to make enough big plays down the stretch to pull away for a 48-42 win.  I think the Lady Potters players and coaching staff learned a lot from the game.

Gone Streaking
The Lady Potters have several winning streaks going on currently.  They currently have won 22 games straight this season and 32 in a row going back to their last loss (Feb 2nd, 2019 OT loss vs Fremd).  They have won 54 straight Mid-Illini Conference games in a row and the Seniors (Class of 2020) have never lost a Mid-Illini game.  They have been the model of Consistent Excellence winning all 49 of their Mid-Illini contests so far.  Through the first half of Mid-Illini Conference play the Lady Potters are 7-0 and have a 2 game lead on 2nd place teams Washington & Dunlap (both 5-2).  The Lady Potters have won the Mid-Illini Conference 5 years in a row and are going for their 6th. Their last Conference loss was at East Peoria, on January 22nd, 2016. With all of the lofty rankings, winning streaks and past success, comes a big target on your back every night.  Everyone has the Lady Potter game circled on their schedule.  Which means that the Lady Potters have to circle every game on their schedule.

A Mighty Big Milestone
If you haven’t heard yet about Coach Becker’s 500th win on Saturday, January 18th, I only have one question for you.  Where have you been?  The 500th win came in a 55-25 victory over Lincoln High School at the PotterDome.  Almost exactly 3 years after his 400th win which came on January 14th, 2017 vs Normal U-High.  This is Coach Becker’s 21st year as Head Coach of the Morton Lady Potters. His career record is currently 501 wins and 149 losses (.771).  You can view his entire bio page by clicking here: Coach Becker Bio Page. Congrats Coach!!!

The Injury Bug
Injuries seem to happen every year and this year is no exception, as the injury bug is hitting the Lady Potters hard this month.  The Lady Potters’ lost super athletic Junior guard-forward, Raquel Frakes to a wrist injury on December 28th.  She is hopeful to return January 25th.  Coach Becker has called Raquel the “Best 6th Man in the State”, which goes to show you how much he thinks of her and her role with the Lady Potters.  Less than 2 weeks later, All-State guard-forward, Lindsey Dullard get’s a concussion, 49 seconds into the game with Metamora on January 11th, on a hard foul as she was going up for a lay-up.  Lindsey missed the rest of the Metamora game, as well as the Conference road game at Dunlap and the non-conference games vs Lincoln & Galesburg.  Her return date is unknown, but will hopefully be back in a week or two if all goes well.  In the absence of these two Lady Potter stars, everyone else has stepped up and taken larger roles.  The Potters are still winning games by large margins, but one thing I have noticed is that the defense has really stepped it up. The Potters had been allowing 40.1 ppg prior to the new year and through the last 7 games are only allowing 27.8 ppg and 26.75 ppg over their last 4 games. Coach Becker’s response, when asked what his team would be like when Dullard & Frakes return, was “SCARY”.

What’s Next
The Lady Potters play Bloomington High School on Tuesday, Jan 21st at the PotterDome, then will continue Mid-Illini Conference play on Thursday, Jan 23rd at East Peoria and host Rock Island on Saturday, Jan 25th.  The Lady Potters have 9 games left before the post season begins and 7 of those games will be at home in the PotterDome.  So don’t miss the opportunity to come out and cheer on your Lady Potters!

The Morton Lady Potters are off & running to a 15-0 start…

The 2019-20 Morton Lady Potters have passed every test so far through the first 15 games of the season. Winning Championships at the Morton Thanksgiving Tournament & the State Farm Holiday Classic, these Lady Potters have done something that no other Lady Potter team has done in recorded history.  At least that I can find during the Coach Becker era.  That is in being undefeated on January 1st.

As Good as Last Year?
Through this point last year, the Lady Potters were 15-2 and were averaging 61 points per game as a team and allowing 39 points per game.  This year, on January 1st, they are 15-0 and are averaging 65 points per game  and allowing 40 points per game.  So their point differential this year is actually 3 points better than last year, but that doesn’t tell the entire story.

The Lady Potters faced some very good teams in the Nov-Dec stretch of both last season and this season.  Some of players I asked said they think last year’s schedule may have been a little tougher, playing teams like Kentucky-Ryle, Richwoods 2x, Wisconsin-Monroe and Chicago Simeon last year during the first two months. However, they have played some very good teams this year as well in Chicago Marist, Richwoods, Lincoln-Way West, Sycamore and East St. Louis.  So the strength of schedule is up for debate, but pretty close, if you ask me.

There are a few more differences though, between this year’s team and last year’s.  This year the Lady Potters are much more balanced in their scoring attack, with 6 different players leading scoring in the first 15 games. All of last year’s returning players have accepted new roles and different responsibilities and this Senior laden team is leaning on it’s experience to lead the way.

University of Alabama-Birmingham signee, Lindsey Dullard, has been exceptional in every category, and leads the team in rebounding and scoring, but has plenty of help from her teammates and has been more than willing to share the ball and the spot light.  Illinois Central College signee, Courtney Jones has transitioned well to the point guard spot this year for the Potters and has been putting up very good all-around numbers, leading the team in assists and steals and has the second most rebounds on the team through 15 games. Both players are also very smart, defensive minded players that always put the team first. These two Senior Captains have played in every Lady Potter game and practice and since joining the Lady Potters as freshmen.

Senior shooting guards Maddy Becker and Peyton Dearing have been absolutely deadly from the perimeter this year, with the duo averaging 54% (52-96) from the arc.  Dearing, an Illinois State University Soccer signee, has also utilized her speed very well this year on both ends of the court and is playing with great confidence right now.  She has made a major impact this season on the hardwood.  Becker (Captain), a returning starter from last year’s State Champion team, that had her season ended last year due to a knee injury in the Sectional Semi-Final vs Canton, is leading the team in made 3’s and brings with her a wealth of experience, toughness and basketball smarts.

Sophomore Katie Krupa & Junior Raquel Frakes have been imposing forces in the post, with Katie shooting a team leading 61% from the field and 2nd on the team in points scored.  Katie can dominate in the post and is just scratching the surface of how good she can be for the Potters.  Raquel has been a dynamic rebounder and defender.  Her bounce and athleticism allow the Potters to do things most teams can’t.  Raquel leads the team in Offensive rebounds and has a jaw dropping vertical.  Raquel injured her wrist in the Championship Semi-final game vs Lincoln-Way West, when big Brianna Woolridge fell on top of her.  Raquel is likely to miss a couple of weeks of play before returning. Get well soon Raquel!

Other regulars, returning from last year’s State Championship team, that have provided valuable minutes for the Lady Potters include Seniors Olivia Remmert (Captain) and Makenna Baughman.  Both players are workhorses that play their roles very well. Whether it’s setting the screen that allows their teammate the time to get the shot off, pulling down the big rebound, getting the deflection or tie-up for extra possessions or hitting the big shot themselves.  Olivia and Makenna have been excellent in their roles and maximum effort team players.

By The Numbers
The Lady Potters have been dominant as a team this year and all 16 players have definitely contributed to the success.  Some teams stats of interest through the first 15 games:

494 – Coach Becker has won 494 games as head coach of the Lady Potters

113 – The Class of 2020 has won 113 Varsity games (lost 7)

100% – The Class of 2020 has won 100% of their Mid-Illini Conference games (45-0)

82% – The Lady Potters are shooting 82% as a team from the free throw line (179-217)

51% – The Lady Potters are shooting 51% as a team from the field (346-680)

50 – The Lady Potters have won 50 straight Mid-Illini Conference games in a row

25/23/17/8 – The Lady Potters are averaging 25 Rebounds, 23 Field Goals, 17 Assists, and 8 Steals as a team

15 – The Lady Potters have 15 consecutive Wins to start the season

2 – The Lady Potters have won 2 tournament Championships this season (Morton Thanksgiving Tournament & the State Farm Holiday Classic).

1 – The Lady Potters are ranked #1 in the State by the AP Sportswriters

What the Players Have to Say
I had the opportunity to sit down and ask a few questions from some of the Lady Potters (Frakes, Dearing & Jones) regarding their superstitions/habits & goals.  Let me just say, these three are very superstitious.

Superstitions –

  1. All 3 have to park in the same spot before every game or they have a bad game
  2. Peyton & Raquel have to hum the National Anthem before each game
  3. Courtney needs a white hair tie & fist bump everyone
  4. Raquel has to straighten her hair on game days
  5. Peyton has to make sure she has no nail polish on
  6. There are apparently many more that probably shouldn’t be mentioned here

Goals – 

  1. Courtney says going undefeated in the Mid-Illini Conference all 4 years
  2. All three say getting back to Redbird and winning State
  3. Peyton says going undefeated all season
  4. Courtney “1 game at a time!”

Don Pyles Photographs –