MORGAN -- Lively, energetic, passionate. All are apropos terms used to describe this year's Morgan Trojans.
Coach Jim Wiscombe has another label: blue-collar. That one might have been the most fitting on Friday night as the hard-working Trojans knocked off bitter rival Bear River 64-51 and ensured themselves the No. 1 seed from Region 11 in the upcoming state 3-A playoffs.
Jake Miles had a game-high 26 points and dished out five assists to lead Morgan (10-0 in region play, 16-3 overall) to the victory against an improving Bears' team. Morgan's 15-2 run to start the second quarter proved to be the difference in the game.
"We're a blue-collar team," Wiscombe said. "We have to be. We have enough talent to do alright, but if we don't work hard, we're not that good. But the kids are playing better. They're battling."
Garrett Kuns and Boston Saunders added 12 points apiece for the Trojans, who played aggressively on defense and outrebounded the Bears 32-20. Morgan also got some big minutes off the bench from senior Josh Duncan.
Duncan didn't score a point, but hauled in seven rebounds and made the play of the night with about 2:30 left in the game and the Trojans clinging to a seven-point lead. On the possession in question, Duncan came up with two offensive rebounds, including one in which he soared though the paint and grabbed the ball out of the air. Then in one motion, while sailing out of bounds, Duncan turned and somehow flung the ball to Miles, who nailed a dagger 3-pointer. The play brought the home crowd to its feet and gave Morgan a 55-45 lead.
"I was just excited that he even got the rebound," Miles said. "And then he found me and I just focused and put the shot down. I thought this was our best game defensively. That's how you win ball games. It was a battle tonight and it was fun. Our team played good."
Kuns also had an impressive play in the first half. After nearly flying into the stands trying to block a Bear River 3-pointer in the corner, Kuns then beat everyone down court for a layup with 11 seconds left in the first half.
Wade Miller was terrific for Bear River (5-5, 6-13), scoring 24 points, including four 3-pointers.