Basketball season has arrived at Morgan High School. The girls’ and boys’ teams took to the hardwoods for their first games last week in two pre-Thanksgiving matchups. The varsity girls’ traveled to Murray to play the Spartans Nov. 24. The Lady Trojans prevailed over the Spartans 70-56 in the non-conference opener. The boys’ teams hosted Summit Academy, a charter school in Bluffdale, on the same evening. The freshman, sophomore and JV teams won, but the varsity lost 60-73.
Both teams played this week with the girls at home Tuesday against Skyview and away at Mountain Crest on Thursday. Next Tuesday, Dec. 8, the Lady Trojans will take on Timpview at Morgan and play at Herriman on Thursday. The boys hosted Box Elder Wednesday in an endowment game and will travel to Richfield for the 3A preview on Friday and Saturday. Their next home games will be Dec. 17 and 22 against South Summit and Tooele. Sophomore games will usually be held at 3:30 p.m. with the freshmen and JV playing at 5:15 p.m. and varsity beginning at 7 p.m.
Lady Trojans subdue Spartans 70-56; win close game over Skyview 51-49
In the first game of the season, the Lady Trojans started out slowly with a seven-point deficit at the end of the first quarter 13-20. A big 24-point second period gave them a 37-33 half-time lead. Outscoring Murray by eight in the third quarter led to a 53-39 score at the end of three. Morgan expanded the lead by two to win their first match up by 24 points, 70-56.
Led by senior Kate Blazzard’s 20 points and junior Brookelyn Hurlbut’s 19, the Lady Trojans hit 46 percent of their field goal attempts and were 20/32 from the foul line. Morgan’s young varsity team features two seniors—Blazzard and Catherine Klein; two juniors—Hurlbut and Madeline Pace; nine sophomores and a freshman.
Sophomores Morgan Cragun and Marcie Stapley scored nine and six points respectively. Stapley and Hurlbut both grabbed nine rebounds followed by freshman Jalyn VanDyke with five. VanDyke also contributed seven points, going 3-3 at the line. Jaci Jensen added five points; Paige Gleason three and Klein finished out the scoring with one. Hurlbut stole the ball seven times and Jensen three with Blazzard and Hurlbut both dishing out four assists and Stapley three.
Head Coach Kade Morrell commented, “It was a collective effort from our freshman to the seniors. I was impressed that our team played with the same intensity whether we were down 10 or up 10. The pressure didn’t phase them and they moved the ball well and had a lot of fun.”
“It was a great way to start the season,” he continued. “I love to see how the unity is coming together and it was fun to see how each person on the team was able to contribute in some way during our first game.”
The Lady Trojans’ coaching staff includes Kade Morrell-head coach; Becca Nelson-JV coach; Brennen Fuller-sophomore coach and Randal Clark-freshmen.
The Lady Trojans continued playing well and opened December with a big win over Skyview 51-49. Morgan lost a five-point lead, 11-6, at the end of the first quarter to enter the locker room down 19-25 at the half. After three periods, Morgan still trailed 32-38, but a huge fourth quarter gave the two-point victory.
Kate Blazzard once again led Morgan in points. She tallied 17 including three 3-pointers. Catherine Klein added seven points, five steals and a whopping 16 rebounds. Sophomore Jaci Jensen contributed six and Lisa Blazzard put in five. Brookelyn Hurlbut, Jalyn Van Dyke and Morgan Cragun each added four points while Marcie Stapley finished with two. Stapley, Van Dyke and Cragun also grabbed five rebounds each.
“It was a huge win for us,” Coach Kade Morrell remarked. “Catherine was outsized, but she fought hard and was a workhorse for us tonight. Brookelyn got in foul trouble and didn’t play a lot. It was really big to have our younger girls come in and get a win in a game like this. We ended the game with two sophomores and a freshman on the floor with our seniors. Once again it was a collective effort. They all worked and worked and gutted it out in the end. It was fun to see them get this win.”
The JV team also won against Skyview, but the sophomore and freshman teams both lost in their first games of the season.
Trojan boys’ drop season opener 60-73
Against a much taller Summit Academy team, the Morgan varsity boys fought to come from behind the entire game last Tuesday night. Unfortunately they were unable to overcome an early 15-point deficit and lost their opener 60-73.
Down 5-20 at the end of the first quarter, the Trojans closed the gap to 10 points with two minutes left in the half behind the scoring of junior Trevor Rose and sophomore Cade Russell. Rose scored 10 consecutive points to bring the score to 17-33 and Russell hit two three-point shots to come within 10 at 23-33. Junior Josh Streadbeck hit a three with under a minute in the half to keep Morgan within 13 going into the locker room 26-39. The Trojans outscored the Bears 21-19 in the second period.
Opening the second half, seniors Brock Spens, Dalan Stanford and Caden Butterfield joined Rose and Russell on the court and made two quick baskets to bring the Trojans within eight 31-39. Summit Academy responded and took the lead back to 11 as they continued to drill three-pointers and opened up a 42-59 lead at the end of the third quarter despite the Trojans continued defensive and offensive efforts. Morgan was only outscored 20-16 in the period, but the early deficit continued to haunt them.
Morgan continued to fight throughout the fourth quarter. Senior Braxton Ovard nailed a three to open the fourth period, and Stanford went coast to coast to lay in the ball after a rebound on the next play. Still down 47-61, the Trojan experimented with several different on-court combinations playing over 14 players throughout the game. Near the end of the game, Morgan began alternating an offensive combination of Stanford, Russell and Rose with the defensive trio of junior Tucker Skinner, senior Spencer Larsen and Butterfield. The fresh legs challenged the Bears, but the Trojans were unable to cut the lead and fell in their opener 60-73.
“Overall, I was very pleased with our effort and heart. We came out in the first quarter timid and showing first game jitters. I was happy with how the team responded for the next three quarters. This team has the potential to have a very successful season. I am excited to see what they can do, “ Coach Brad Matthews shared.
Rose and Russell topped the scoring with 21 and 12 points each. Stanford followed with 11. Spens pulled down nine rebounds; Rose grabbed five and Stanford added four. Ovard and Butterfield each tallied four points while Butterfield led with four assists and two steals. Streadbeck and Spens contributed three points each, and Dallin Snyder added two.