The Morgan Trojans just keep on winning. Between Friday and Tuesday of this past week, the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams went 3-0 and started to show the rest of the state that they will be tough outs when region and state competitions come around.
On Friday, the Lady Trojans had their most lopsided win of the season, a 68-23 road victory over the Ogden Tigers. Morgan jumped out to a 25-4 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. By halftime, the Trojans were up by 37 points and then turned on the cruise control in the second half, finally settling for a 45-point win.
Jacie House scored 12 points to lead the Trojans. She was the only player from Morgan to reach double-figures in scoring, but she was one of 11 different players to put points on the board. Paige Gleason, Kayden Jorgensen and Makennah Morrell had nine points apiece, while Morgan Cragun finished with eight points and seven rebounds. Morrell led the team with nine rebounds, while Gleason had eight. Sophomore Emery Wheeler led Morgan with five assists.
Then on Tuesday, the Lady Trojans won a thriller in Coalville, knocking off rival North Summit 52-45 in overtime.
Against the Braves, Morgan jumped out to a 17-5 lead in the first quarter, but over the next three periods, North Summit fought back, eventually taking over the lead in the fourth quarter. A 10-0 run early in the fourth gave the Braves an eight-point advantage.
With less than 90 seconds left to play in the game, North Summit still had a seven-point lead at 45-38. But the Braves would not score again.
Cragun hit a short runner to cut the lead to 45-40 with 1:15 to play. After a defensive stop by the Trojans, Jorgensen hit a big 3-pointer from the corner to narrow the lead to two points. Then, with 18 seconds left, Cragun got free in the lane and tied the score at 45-45 with a layup, sending the game into overtime.
Both teams struggled to score in the overtime period before Jaci Jensen finally hit a 3-pointer with about a minute left to play. Critical free throws down the stretch sealed the win for the Trojans. Morgan ended up scoring the final 14 points of the game.
Jensen led the Trojans (4-2 overall) with 15 points, including three 3-pointers. Jorgensen also had three 3s and finished with 11 points. Cragun chipped in with 13 points and four steals. Lisa Blazzard added seven points, 10 rebounds, four steals and a pair of assists.
Up next for the Lady Trojans is a four-day tournament taking place Dec. 19-22 in Phoenix.
On the boys’ side, the Trojans finally returned home after winning four straight games on the road. They matched up with longtime rival Ben Lomond on Friday and came away with a 66-52 win over the Scots.
While the final margin of 14 points was impressive, the game really shouldn’t have been that close. But an uncharacteristically rough shooting night from leading scorer Cade Russell allowed the Scots to hang around. Plus, the Scots were very athletic and gave the Trojans fits with their full-court press.
But MHS coach Brad Matthews was happy to see that even on a bit of an off night, the Trojans still have the ability to pull off a victory.
“I was proud of the boys for the way they battled,” Matthews said. “Ben Lomond came to play. They played hard and tried to take Cade out of the offense. And they did a pretty good job of that early, but some of our other kids made some shots. Our rhythm was off a little bit, but we came through.”
Coming up big for the Trojans was junior forward Trey Miles, who tossed in 19 points, including four 3-pointers. But Miles was visibly upset with missing four free throws – shots that he typically makes. Tyson Hurd added 14 points for Morgan, which improved to 5-1 on the season.
While Russell was quieter than usual, he still ended up with 14 points and had 11 rebounds – not bad for a point guard. Junior forward Kaleb Calderwood had six points and a game-high 14 boards for the Trojans, while Laine Carter finished with six points and seven assists.
For Matthews, it has been nice to see some positive results after a couple of seasons without much success.
“These kids have been working really hard,” Matthews said. “They play well together and they’re doing what it takes to be there. I’m not saying that teams in the past didn’t, but it’s just coming together for this group. Tonight we didn’t play very well, but we were still able to come out with a victory. In the last few years we weren’t able to do that.”
The Trojans went on the road again on Wednesday at Park City, and will play at home tonight against rival North Summit. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.