OGDEN - The story is well-chronicled. Back in 1974, Jim Wiscombe, senior guard for the Morgan boys basketball team, led the Trojans to its first and only state championship. The team, under the tutelage of coaching legend Ron Abegglen, went undefeated and Wiscombe was named the tournament's most valuable player.
Eventually Wiscombe returned to Morgan as its head coach. Since then, he has worked hard to bring another championship to the school.
He's been extremely successful, with a number of region titles and state tournament appearances under his belt. But a championship has eluded him. Two years ago, the Trojans came close to winning it all, reaching the championship game against Wasatch. But the Wasps were too strong that night and Wiscombe and the Trojans were forced to continue waiting.
Well, the 39-year wait is finally over. With a remarkable 58-44 win over their fiercest rival, Bear River, the Trojans have once again reached the pinnacle of basketball, capturing the state 3-A title on a snowy Saturday night at the Dee Events Center in front of a huge throng of supporters.
Wiscombe, whose wife Liz has coached 15 volleyball state championships, finally has a trophy of his own.
"It's not an ego thing," Wiscombe said. "I know that I'm the second-best coach in the house, there's no doubt about that. But it is fun to now have a state basketball trophy in the house."
Morgan came out firing on all cylinders from the start and had the Bears on their heels, much the same way Bear River had Snow Canyon reeling in the semifinal round.
"The kids just came out and got after it," Wiscombe said. "I just thought we had a lot more energy tonight. It helped that Bear River didn't shoot the ball as well as they did the other night. I watched them play Snow Canyon and I was worried because they were phenomenal."
Jake Miles scored seven of Morgan's first nine points and the Trojans were off and running. They never trailed in the game and held high scoring Wade Miller to just five points - all in the second half. Miller's first basket came with 3:50 remaining in the third quarter and Morgan already up by 19 points.
"This feels so good," Miles said. "All of us have worked so hard all year. This was our goal and it feels good to reap the rewards."
Miles finished with 16 points and four steals to lead the Trojans' effort, while his cousin Garren Miles added 12 points off the bench and was a significant contributor to Morgan's defensive performance. Sophomore Bridger Streadbeck chipped in with 10 points. The Trojans also got strong games from Matt Murdock (seven points) and Ben Saunders (five).
"We've been dreaming about this since we were little kids," Saunders said. "We came out fired up and we just went after our dream and we got it. I was way nervous all day, but the outcome was amazing. I thought we'd maybe beat them by five, but we were ready and jumped on them early. It's like a dream. We were sitting on the bench with 10 seconds left and we couldn't believe what we just accomplished. It's an amazing feeling right now."
Kyle Zundel scored 10 points to lead Bear River, which made it all the way to the championship game despite finishing third in Region 11 play.
Of all the things that happened on Saturday, none compared to the satisfaction of winning it all for Morgan's beloved coach.
"This is the greatest thing ever," Murdock said. "Forty years since we've done it. We've put in a lot of hard work. Coach has been running our butts off and getting us in shape."
"(Wiscombe) has been here for a very long time," Jake Miles said. "He's had good teams come through and has had teams play in a championship game and we hadn't brought it home. So it feels so good to get one for him."
"I remember coaching against Wilbur Braithwaite and he coached for all those years and I thought to myself, 'He only won one state championship,'" Wiscombe said "Well, I'd coached for a lot of years and still hadn't won one."
Now he has.