The Morgan Lady Trojans played their second game of the 2A-3A preview on Saturday, December 18 against the Delta Rabbits. The Ladies would play without senior point guard and three year starter Becca Rees, who suffered a knee injury in the previous game against Richfield. A time-table for her return is unknown at this point.
Delta is a tall, talented team that came into the game undefeated, and gave Morgan all they could handle and more, as our team would go down in defeat by a score of 42-35.
The Trojans were their own worst enemy in the first quarter, missing at least 5 or 6 open layups and turning the ball over multiple times, allowing the Rabbits to jump out to a 9-0 lead at the 3 minute mark of the first quarter. Forward Rachael Johnson would hit a free throw, and Ashley “Spud” Garfield would add a jumper on an out of bounds play near the end of the quarter to make the score 14-3 for Delta.
Morgan would come storming back in the 2nd quarter with a pressing defense and offensive rebounding. Delta had no one to stop Garfield in the quarter, as she personally out scored the Delta squad 13-2. Her 3 point play off an offensive put back and ensuing free throw pulled Morgan even with Delta at 16-16 with 2:30 left in the quarter.
After the Delta team hit 1-2 free throws, senior Shaelee Pentz hit a long 3 from the right baseline to give the Trojans their only lead of the game at 19-17. The Rabbits would score 4 points in the last minute of the quarter to regain the lead at 21-19.
The Trojans battled hard in the 3rd, but could muster only 5 points in the quarter to Deltas’ 9. The Trojans defense was led by Chelsey Stegelmeier, who stepped in front of a hard-charging Delta player to draw a charge at the end of the quarter to keep the Trojans in the game.
Three Morgan turnovers to start the 4th quarter enabled Delta to jump out to a big lead of 12 points at 36-24. Baskets by Johnson, Pentz and Kelsey Henry would pull Morgan to within 6 points at 36-30. This was as close as the Trojans would get, as Delta would hit just enough free throws to keep Morgan at bay and win the game 42-35.
Final team stats would show Morgan equaling or winning most statistical categories. Both teams would shoot 30% from the field (Morgan 12-40, Delta 11-36). Morgan would out-rebound the Rabbits 30 to 24, have one fewer turnover, block 6 shots to only 1 for Delta, and dominated the points in the paint 20 to 12. The stat that doomed the Lady Trojans were free throws, where the normally sure-shooting team only hit 10-18 for 55.6%, and the Delta squad connected on 17-23 for 73.9%.
Garfield led the team with 21 points and 11 rebound, 3 blocks and 2 steals. Shaelee Pentz would add 6 points and 2 boards, Rachael Johnson 3 points and 8 rebounds, Kelsey Henry 3 points and 4 boards, and Chelsey Stegelmeier would add 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 3 steals. Freshman Rashel Blazzard filled in admirably for the injured Rees by playing the full 32 minutes at the point, passing off for 4 assists, gathering 3 boards and nabbing 1 steal.