Morgan gained possession of the opening tipoff and never looked back, leading the entire game.
Many expected a much closer matchup as the Eagles of Juan Diego came into the game with a better record of 14-3 vs. 11-6 for the Trojans. However, Morgan came better prepared, played with more intensity and executed with greater balance on both offense and defense in another tremendous team effort.
The first quarter consisted of aggressive play and some early fouls. Coach Jim Wiscombe utilized a frequent rotation among his players to keep them at once fresh and out of foul trouble.
Juan Diego’s style of play resembled some aspects of Morgan’s playbook. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have the same depth. They do, however, have a burgeoning star in freshman Connor Fulton who scored a game high 23 points and six three-pointers. He will be one to watch in the years to come.
Morgan ended the quarter with the lead up 16-8. They began the second quarter with seven unanswered points in a huge opening run. The gap continued to widen as Morgan built a 37-20 halftime lead.
During the third quarter, Juan Diego showed a small spark of life, firing off three three-pointers before Morgan called a time-out to slow them back down. Coming off the timeout, Morgan answered with their own three-pointer to squash any prolonged attempt at a comeback. Hunter Stanford fueled a surge for Morgan with nine points in the quarter. Going into the fourth quarter Morgan held a commanding 59-37 lead.
Matt Murdock began the fourth quarter with consecutive steals on defense and converted them to points on offense. He led the offensive effort for the quarter with eight points. Juan Diego never could sustain a rally—although they played with heart the entire game. Speaking of heart, they will certainly be fired up for Morgan when they play on their home court on Valentine’s Day. That game is already shaping up to be a showdown between these two top teams in region, and immediately precedes tournament play.
The leading scorer for Morgan was Garren Miles, who had 20 points on the night including four three-pointers. His consistency reflected the remarkable balance typifying Morgan’s performance overall. He scored five points in each quarter, including one three-pointer in each quarter.
Other scorers in double digits included Hunter Stanford with 12 points including two three-pointers, Hayden Garfield with 11 points, and Matt Murdock with 10 points including one three-pointer. The remaining points came from Jordan Nelson with eight points, Ben Saunders with seven points, and Bobby Cluff and Bridger Streadbeck each with four points.
Juan Diego is now 14-4 overall. They were undefeated in region play until their loss to Morgan. Now Morgan stands alone as the only unbeaten team in region matchups. The momentum keeps building. Morgan has won seven in a row and 12 of their last 13 games. They stand 12-6 overall with five games remaining in the regular season. They have defeated each of their region foes once already this season and are beginning round two on Friday against Uintah. Come support the Trojans as they look to improve upon their already impressive season. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.