ST. GEORGE - Morgan's high state tournament expectations came to a crashing halt on Thursday afternoon when the Trojans fell to the Hurricane Tigers 54-43 in the 3-A quarterfinals at Dixie State College's Burns Arena.
The loss ends the Trojans' hopes of a repeat appearance in the state 3-A title game and wipes out their 13-game winning streak.
Hurricane's frontcourt, which consisted of 6-foot-9 Boston Gubler and 6-7 forward Colton Marshall created all kinds of problems for Morgan, as did the Trojans' 29 percent shooting from the floor.
One of the highest scoring teams in the state during the regular season, the Trojans connected on just 14-of-48 field goals. Jake Miles, 3-A's top scorer, was hounded all game long by Hurricane's Benson Rich and hit only 2-of-12 shots from the floor and finished with 11 points.
"(Rich) was on (Miles) like glue, especially in the first half," Morgan coach Jim Wiscombe said. "And their size takes away a lot of stuff we do against other teams."
Boston Saunders, who hit 4-of-16 shots, scored 13 points and had five rebounds for Morgan before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. Colby Skinner added seven points, including the Trojans' only 3-pointer. Morgan went 1-for-18 from behind the arc.
"It's a different venue, playing on a college court," Wiscombe said. "But you've got to give Hurricane some credit. They played some tough defense."
The Trojans were on their heels from the start. They scored the first two points of the game, but Rich nailed a 3-pointer for the Tigers, sparking a 13-2 run from which the Trojans never recovered.
Hurricane's win avenges a 61-54 loss to the Trojans early in the preseason and means that all four teams in the semifinals will come from Region 9.
"This region is by far the toughest region, top to bottom," Wiscombe said.
Morgan still has more basketball to play and will face Payson in the consolation bracket today at 5:50 p.m.