MORGAN The Trojans' plan was to come out as fast and as strong as possible against undefeated Grantsville on Thursday night.
"That was our whole goal, to come out and get on them right away," said Morgan head coach Brad Matthews. "I think the advantage this program has is that they're not afraid of anybody. They'll just come out and play."
The second-ranked Trojans came out so strong against the third-ranked Cowboys that they surprised even themselves with the way they dominated the first half.
"They played well," said Matthews of the Trojans. "That might be the best they've played so far this year."
Morgan jumped out to a 6-0 lead and didn't even allow the Cowboys to score until 4:11 left in the first quarter. By half-time, the team owned a 34-13 lead that would ensure it would win the game despite a much better second half by the Cowboys.
"I kind of think the girls came out a little timid," said Grantsville head coach McKenzie Newton. "There was definitely a home-court advantage ... But I think they did a good job in the second half. We made some adjustments ... defensively we got more aggressive and offensively we looked to attack more."
She said that the team, which only has one senior forward Kylie Erickson learned a lot playing in front of a packed house against a motivated, talented team.
"Getting experience in games like this is important for us," she said. "Morgan is a good team and we've got to play teams like that because that's what we're going to face in the first round of state."
The Cowboys were led by Junior guard Sammie Jensen, who finished with 16 points, and sophomore guard Marissa Robbins, who added 12 points. Erickson scored nine points and gave the team some key rebounds in the second half.
The Trojans earned a huge advantage on the boards with 41 rebounds in the game to Grantsville's 21 boards.
Senior forward Chelsey Garfield led the team with 28 points and 14 rebounds, and she said she didn't expect Morgan to have such a huge lead in the game.
"I was excited," she said of the quick start. "I knew coming in that if we were excited and played our game with intensity, we'd do well."
Adding to Garfield's excitement over the win was the fact that her freshman sister, Ashley, played about a quarter and a half, earning five assists and two points.
"It just makes it more sweet," she said of earning the win with her sister. "That was always our goal to play together when I was a senior and she was a freshman."
Ashley Garfield said she was a little surprised to spend so much time on the court Thursday night.
"At the first of the season I didn't even have a varsity jersey," she said. "It's kind of the dream."
Chelsey, who was the beneficiary of two of those assists, said they only get the chance to practice together about once a week as Ashley is a member of the freshman and sophomore squads.
"I knew she could come and do whatever we needed her to do," Chelsey said.
Both players credited guard Jenna Walker, a senior, with helping fire them up defensively as she earned two steals right off the bat. Walker finished with 12 points and five steals, while sophomore guard Angela Blazzard added 10 points. Kirsten Merrett, a junior forward, only scored two points, but she helped the team with that huge rebounding advantage as she grabbed nine boards.
The Trojans were grinning about the win, but they aren't going to dwell on it long. They play Carbon tonight in Price and then host Wasatch, the top-ranked 3A team, next Tuesday."We'll go to Carbon and then worry about Wasatch," said Matthews with a smile.