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Boys’ basketball takes on Bear River and Ogden

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You win some, you lose some. Or in the Morgan Trojans’ case, you lose one and then you win one.
That’s how the season began for the Trojans this past week. First, on Nov. 21, the Trojans played a sloppy game against longtime rival Bear River, committing 33 turnovers in 32 minutes. Not surprisingly, the Trojans lost, 74-61. But one week later, on Nov. 28, the Trojans went on the road, where they played significantly better, knocking off the Ogden Tigers, 59-42.
In the season opener, much went wrong for the Trojans, particularly in the third quarter, when they were outscored by the Bear River Bears, 19-7. Coincidentally, the rough patch happened with leading scorer Cade Russell sitting on the bench. Late in the second quarter, Russell picked up his fourth foul, forcing him to watch the game from the bench for much of the second half.
The foul issue with Russell did not lack in controversy. Morgan’s coaches insisted that he had only three fouls, but both Morgan’s and Bear River’s official scorebooks showed him with four. So while the Trojans complained, there was little they could do but sit Russell to start the second half. By the time he returned to the court, the Bears had the game well in hand.
While Russell’s presence was certainly missed in the second half, it’s possible the Trojans would not have won even if he had been playing.
“You’re not going to win any games with 33 turnovers,” Morgan coach Brad Matthews said. “You’re just giving them 33 more opportunities to score. You’ve just got to take care of the ball at this level of basketball. Our passing was just terrible. It seemed like every pass we made was tipped or right to (Bear River). It was frustrating.”
Despite his limited minutes, Russell still led the Trojans with 25 points, including three 3-pointers. Tyson Hurd added 11 points, while Kaleb Calderwood chipped in with nine.
The loss to the Bears was definitely discouraging, but Matthews felt certain that his team could turn its fortunes around.
“If we figure a few things out, we’ll be fine,” he said. “The potential for this team is real high. It was the first game. We’ll get there.”
And get there they did. Against Ogden, the Trojans had another 19-7 quarter, but this time in their favor. They then outscored Ogden by 10 in the fourth period to put the game away. Russell again led the team in scoring, this time with 24 points, including four 3s. Trey Miles added 11 points and Calderwood had eight.
The Trojans will play three more games on the road before returning to Morgan on Dec. 8. This weekend, Morgan will play in the Central Utah Basketball Preview against Emery and North Sevier.

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