The Morgan girls basketball squad opened their season on Tuesday Nov. 30 with a home game, hosting the Mtn Crest Lady Mustangs, a 4A squad out of Hyrum. Last season, the Lady Trojans went to Hyrum and snuck out of town with a big victory. Mtn. Crest would return the favor this year, beating our home town girls by a score of 57-50.
The first half went according to plan, with the Trojans playing well and leading 15-13 at the end of the first quarter. The Trojans picked up their defensive intensity in the second quarter, unleashing a full court press and half court trap that produced multiple steals and layups for the home squad. Morgan pushed their lead to a score of 33-26 at the half.
The 3rd quarter saw the visitors climb back into the game, as their pressure forced the Trojans into turnovers and missed shots. The home squad could only muster six points in the quarter, while the visitors scored 15 to jump to a lead of 41-39.
The Trojans climbed back into the lead early in the 4th when Junior Kelsey Henry hit 2 free throws, and Senior Chelsey Stegelmeier hit a tough bucket underneath the basket to put Morgan in the lead at 43-41. Senior Ashley Garfield would hit 1 out of 2 free throws to push the lead to 44-41. Mtn. Crest would then hit back to back 3 pointers, taking advantage of three Morgan turnovers to open up a 51-44 lead. The Trojans would press hard to get back in the game, but Mtn Crest would hit enough free throws to keep the Trojans at bay and win by a score of 57-50.
The Trojans wound up shooting 34% from the field on 15-44 field goals, and 33% from the 3 point line on 3-9 attempts. The team connected on 17-23 free throws for 74%, compared to 7-12 free throws for the visitors. The Trojans enjoyed a slight rebounding edge with 26 total and 14 offensive, compared to 25 total and 11 offensive for Mtn Crest. The visitors enjoyed a huge advantage in points in the paint with 38, compared to 16 for the Trojans.
Senior Ashley Garfield led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots. Senior point guard Becca Rees scored nine points on three 3 pointers and added five steals.
Junior Kelsey Henry added eight points, five rebounds and three steals, Senior Rachael Johnson added four points, four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals, and Senior Shaelee Pentz added four points, three assists and two rebounds. Senior Chelsey Stegelmeier, Junior Whitney Morgan and Freshman Rashel Blazzard came in off the bench as subs.
The Trojans will defend their title in the Harry Burchell classic, to be played at Bonneville High this Friday and Saturday. They will then be on the road at Mtn View next Tuesday the 7th, and back home on December 10 for a rescheduled game vs. Uintah.