When Morgan forward Kaleb Calderwood jumped for the ball at last Friday’s opening tipoff in the Trojans’ game against rival North Summit, he slapped it so hard that it went all the way to the other end of the court.
“Looks like someone’s amped up tonight,” said one of MHS’s assistant coaches.
Indeed he was, and for good reason. Calderwood grew up in Coalville and played basketball with most of the players on the Braves’ roster. So to now be playing against them, he was plenty motivated to do well. And that’s exactly what he did, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds as the Trojans crushed the Braves 76-34. Calderwood also had seven blocked shots and dished out six assists in his most complete outing of the season.
“I’ve played with those kids my whole life,” Calderwood said of the North Summit team. “Coming back and playing against them was really fun.”
During one sequence in the second half, the athletic Calderwood blocked two straight shots on one end of the floor and then raced to the other end for a rebound and follow-up layup. His only disappointment with the play was that he didn’t grab the ball and slam it back through the basket.
“Yeah, I should have dunked it,” he said.
Morgan coach Brad Matthews has been impressed with Calderwood’s rapid rise to excellence, especially on the defensive end.
“He’s really learned that playing defense is fun,” Matthews said. “Blocks are just as important as making shots. And he’s a beast. He’s playing really well.”
But Calderwood wasn’t the only one who played well against the Braves. Senior guard Cade Russell scored a game-high 17 points, including five 3-pointers, while Trey Miles had 16 points and Tyson Hurd added 10. All of Hurd’s points came in the first quarter, helping the Trojans to a 21-7 lead after the first period. Russell and Miles got it going in the second quarter, scoring eight points apiece to help give Morgan a 44-12 halftime advantage. In other words, game over.
Calderwood acknowledged that everything went right for the Trojans.
“We were just passing the ball around and playing unselfish basketball,” he said. “Teamwork makes the dream work.”
Teamwork has been on full display this past week. Prior to the win over North Summit, the Trojans wiped out Park City 83-49. Hurd led five players in double figures with 16 points.
“This whole week, first the Park City game and then tonight, they’ve just been playing really good team ball,” Matthews said. “They’re moving the ball really well, getting it to open players, and then we’re making shots. When you get multiple guys who can make shots consistently, it really makes a difference.
“There’s just a love of the game,” Matthews added. “They just go out and enjoy playing and being around each other. Sometimes they screw around a little too much, but what they’re doing is working. They’re having fun.”
Winners of seven straight games, the Trojans faced Maple Mountain at home on Wednesday and then traveled to Uintah on Thursday. Both of those games will be recapped next week. Morgan’s next home game will be next Friday against Tooele.