ST. GEORGE -- Despite not winning a state championship, the Morgan girls basketball team concluded their season on a high note.
Senior center Kelsey Henry scored a game-high 17 points, while sophomores Rashel Blazzard and McKenzie Schenk scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, as the Trojans rolled to a 54-40 win over Region 10 champion Juan Diego on Saturday at Dixie High School. The win gives the Trojans fifth place in the 3-A tournament -- a significant improvement after going two-and-out in last season's tourney.
"The girls are upbeat and excited about what they did," Morgan coach Brad Matthews said. "We talked about the difference between (the loss on) Thursday and these last two games and it was just nerves. We just have to figure out a way to make sure those nerves aren't there on that first day because they just proved that they can beat anybody."
The Trojans (20-5) had it going from start to finish. They scored 22 points in the opening period and never let up, leading by as many as 21 points in the second half before pulling their regulars to a well-deserved ovation.
"We scored almost as many points in the first quarter today as we did the whole game on Thursday," Matthews said. "It was good to see the ball go in and the girls shoot with confidence. It's fun to watch when they play well."
For Henry, the game was especially satisfying because her previous two outings this weekend were pretty disappointing.
"Today I tried a lot harder not to foul," she said. "I just tried to play my game and I think it worked out a lot better for me today. That first game is always really scary. I think everyone was just so nervous. A lot of the girls hadn't even played at state before and it's hard to go in and play against those good teams and see all the people in the stands and it kind of got to us a little bit and we weren't able to play like we knew we could.
"I just really wanted to play really well today and finish out my last game strong for Morgan," Henry added. "It's going to be hard to not play for Morgan anymore. We won't have practice anymore and this is the last time wearing this jersey. It's going to be weird. We've put in a lot of time and I'm just glad we made it to the tournament and did the best we could."
While Matthews loses Henry, as well as Whitney Morgan and Kenzy Davis next year, the bulk of the team is made up of sophomores, so the future is bright.
"Our freshmen didn't lose a game, our sophomores didn't lose a game and our JV lost only once," Matthews said. "They know how to win and that's what we need in the program."