MORGAN — The Morgan Trojans will be without their top perimeter player for a while — perhaps the season — but they proved Thursday night that they’re still a pretty darn good team.
McKenzie Schenk and Breanna Hurlbut scored 18 points apiece and dominated the boards as the Trojans cruised to a 62-50 win over Roy and prevented a repeat of last year when the Royals came back from a big deficit to beat Morgan at the buzzer on a 3-pointer by Kaitlyn Hurley.
But don’t think Morgan coach Brad Matthews wasn’t thinking about that game. The Trojans had a 15-point lead heading into the fourth quarter on Thursday, but halfway through the period, the Royals had cut the lead to just seven.
“That team is so deadly because they have shooters,” Morgan coach Brad Matthews said. “A team like that is never out of it.”
But down the stretch the Trojans controlled the ball and the clock and hung on for the victory.
Morgan (2-1) is learning to play without starting point guard Rashel Blazzard, who tore her ACL in the season opener. The combination of Hurlbut, Shaylie Duncan, Kiersha Dickson and Ali Tonks provided exceptional perimeter defense and scored 34 of Morgan’s 62 points. Hurlbut, who also hauled in nine rebounds, was particularly impressive.
“Sometimes I have to pull her out because she works so hard and she can’t breathe,” Matthews said. “She’s a great player to have because she’s a ball of energy. She’s disciplined and is a great athlete and that’s what makes a great defender.”
After a rough game on opening night, Schenk has come to play the last two games.
Roy, which was led by Kaitlyn Hurley’s 16 points, was also without one of their big guns, Jordynn Barrera. But the Royals still managed to drain eight 3-pointers and kept the game close until a 10-0 Morgan run in the third quarter put the game out of reach.
“It’s cliché, but you just can’t get down to a good team,” Roy coach Brock Randall said. “You’ve got to be more resilient than we were. We didn’t defend very well tonight and our rebounding wasn’t too much better.
“But the good thing about our team is that it’s only very minor things that we need to adjust and fix. We’re not panicked by a long stretch.”
Jaden Whaley added 10 points for Roy (0-2) and Aubrey Porter finished with nine. Both had three 3-pointers.
• MOUNTAIN CREST 40, OGDEN 38: At Ogden, the Tigers worked so hard to capture the lead, but then unfortunately, found a way lose it, dropping a tight battle with big, physical Mountain Crest in non-league action.
“It was an evenly-matched game,” Ogden coach Rob McGill said. “I was pleased with how hard we played. Nearly had the win.”
Morgan Jones scored 12 points and added six steals and four assists. Amy Ulrich added 10 points, Kelsey East chipped in with eight and Nikki Thompson pulled down seven key rebounds.
McKenzie Anderson led the Mustangs with 14 points; Ogden held Kelsey Kartchner to six points.
• CLEARFIELD 51, KEARNS 47: At Clearfield, the Falcons earned a hard-fought win over the Cougars. Jocelyn Jones led Clearfield with 19 points.
• MURRAY 49, BEN LOMOND 18: At Ogden, the Scots had no offensive answer for the visiting Spartans.
Kenzie Abbott led Ben Lomond with five points.
• RIVERTON 54, FREMONT 36: At Plain City, the Silver Wolves fell at home.
Tanesha Daniels scored 12 points and Shelby Molen added 11 for Fremont.