HAMMOND | Morton and host Hammond were looking for a "push" Friday night, like two marathon runners welcoming that cup of ice water in the face heading to the finish line.
Morton came in having won four of its last five; Hammond three of its last four.
Wildcats Michael Kirkendall, Cameron Vortice and Robert Evans delivered that chilly bucket of ice water to secure a 63-50 win in their latest Great Lakes Athletic Conference match.
The 6-foot-4 Kirkendall had 19 points, Vortice 19 points and the 6-5 Evans grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds as Hammond smothered Morton on the boards, 36-16.
"We had no answer for their offensive rebounds and layups," Morton coach Kevin Dermody said. "The turning point was when we couldn't get a defensive rebound."
Rayan Elabed was the lone Morton player in double figures with 19 points, but he had only one field goal the second half. The Governors (4-7, 2-1) hurt themselves at the line, shooting 13-of-26.
Kirkendall had 12 points in the fourth quarter when Hammond (7-4, 2-1) ran away and hid.
"I just rebounded the ball and was more aggressive going to the basket," he said. "Sometimes, we look lackadaisical out there. We lost to Lew Wallace last game and just wanted to show everybody we can play basketball."
Coach Larry Moore Jr. said it's no secret what makes his team dangerous.
"We have size but our big guys can't take possessions off," Moore said. "When they don't, that takes a lot of the pressure off our guards.
"Our strength is in the post. We just have to do it consistently."
The Wildcats were 12-of-22 from the line against Morton, no excuse for a team shooting 84 percent.
Morton played without LaVeras Jefferson, Tay'yon Carter and T.F. North transfer Montell Winbush, all of whom are expected to be academically eligible Jan. 18.
Dermody projected Jefferson and Carter as starters and Winbush as sixth man.