Meadowview posts average double-double

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 23, 2004

While the Meadowview Trojans and Lady Trojans have very different records this season, coach Mike Cassebaum’s ladies and coach Rick Raines’ men have one thing in common; a dominant force in the post.

They may not look like it standing next to each other but Meadowview’s John Robert Morton and Haley McIntyre are cut from the same cloth.

Though they face double and triple teams every time they step on the floor, they come to play and play well.

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Each player averages a double-double while leading their team against the best competition in AISA. Morton averages nearly 30-points and 16 rebounds a game while McIntyre is good for 26 points and 12 rebounds every night.

“Sometimes I wonder exactly how they get through the defenses that they do,” Raines said. “They’re excellent ball players they handle the ball well.

If you can do those combinations then you’re going to be able to make your shots. That’s what they worked hard on this year.”

Morton, a 6-foot-5 senior, had a strong junior year but exploded in his this season.

An off-season of hard work on his game has paid off.

“I focused all summer on basketball,” Morton said. “I worked on my shot and worked on my moves inside the paint.”

“I didn’t expect the 30 points that we’ve gotten, but I knew he had the potential,” Raines said. “In the off-season he worked really hard.

He worked on his outside game and that’s what has helped his inside game.”

That work has helped Morton develop a soft touch around the basket that allows him to score over and around whatever defense an opposing coach throws at him.

McIntyre faces many of the same challenges but attacks them in a different way.

While she is the team’s best rebounder, she uses her athleticism and ball handling to get shots in transition, attack the basket and draw fouls. When the defenses crush in, McIntyre turns to her teammates, like sharp-shooter Joni Lawrence and her cousin Elyse McIntyre for help.

“I just try to work on moves a little bit,” she said. “Mainly I try and open up spots for my teammates then I’ll be down to rebound for them.”

That willingness to get in the paint and battle results in more than a few bumps and bruises.

“You take a lot of beatings in the paint, when you’re a post player you’ve got to be able to take those beating because not all the calls are going to go your way,” Haley said.

“She’s a great athlete,” Cassebaum said. “She’s hard to handle on the inside but when she gets out on the perimeter and handles the ball she makes it really tough for people to guard her.”

For Morton, his senior season has been quite a bit different from last year.

He averaged 18 points last season while playing with four senior starters.

This season, he’s the senior leader and the focal point on the floor.

“Having a team like a have that’s able to get the ball has helped me out a lot, it’s all about team,” Morton said. “It’s great being a senior and helping the younger guys out on the team.”

In recent games, the team has begun to score more in support of Morton, Raines said they’ll need that kind of balance come playoff time.

“I’ve got to have that, when we can do that we can stay in any ball game,” Raines said.

Though McIntyre claims to be a little shy about speaking up, it’s different when it comes to her team.

“There’s no problem talking to them because I’ve known them for a really long time,” Haley said. “We’ve all been playing together since the seventh or eighth grade.

We’re just like sisters.”

While Morton hopes to play in college next season, the best news for Cassebaum and the Lady Trojans is that Haley will be back for another season.

“I’ve seen her play since the ninth grade and she just continues to get

better,” Cassebaum said. “Every night she come out and has two or three people guarding her in the low post. They know she’s our go-to-girl and they try and stop her.”