Small but mighty.
That’s a trite but true way to describe the Morton wrestling team, which has overcome problems caused by a lineup filled with empty slots to have a successful season.
The Potters finished third among seven teams Jan. 19 in the Mid-Illini Conference tournament at Washington.
Only powerhouse Washington (240.5 points) and Canton (129.5) were in front of Morton (108), which edged fourth-place Metamora (107) by one point. East Peoria (90), Pekin (68.5) and Limestone (51.5) rounded out the team standings.
Just nine wrestlers competed for Morton in the tournament. The Potters usually had only 10 wrestlers for duals and they finished 13-9 overall in duals. There are 14 weight classes in high school wrestling.
Seventeen wrestlers are in Morton’s program.
“All 17 have battled all year,” said Potters coach Josh Prichard.
“We were 2-4 in Mid-Illini duals but we lost a couple close ones, so we thought we could finish in the top three in the conference tournament,” he said. “All we focus on is what we can control. That means competing hard in every match and trying to get as many pins as we can. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished this season.”
One of Morton’s Mid-Illini dual wins came against Canton, the conference tournament runner-up.
Morton was led at the conference tournament by 145-pound weight class champion Drew Greenwood, who lived up to his No. 1 seed.
Greenwood, a senior, has more than 100 wins in his Morton career and is a three-time sectional qualifier.
Four Potters finished second at Washington: Zane Ely (106), Cory Hoyle (120), Tristan Parker (170) and Alex Ford (195). Morton’s Tyler Timmons (113) and Ethan Gray (220) each placed third.
Ely and Hoyle are freshmen. Timmons was a sectional qualifier last season.
Tristan Gallagher (132) and Jared Walters (138) also competed for the Potters in the conference tournament.
Morton will return to action Feb. 2 when it competes in the Class 2A Washington Regional.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.