The only adjustment that we made was we have to rebound. We have to get them off the offensive glass, that’s pretty much all we talked about, and then we came out and did it. —Morgan head coach Brad Matthews
MORGAN — In a close battle between two Region 13 boys basketball foes, Morgan emerged victorious, improving its overall record to 12-2 and picking up a 71-63 win over Summit Academy in both teams’ region opener.
“The first one, against Summit Academy, ranked first in the state, is just loaded with talent, that’s a good one to have right there,” Morgan head coach Brad Matthews said of the victory.
Morgan entered the game on a four-game win streak, and Trojans head coach Brad Matthews found similarities between Summit Academy and Morgan’s last opponent, Layton Christian Academy.
“We told them, they like to get to the rim and they like to shoot the 3. They (Summit Academy) took 19 3’s in the first half, made three, but a lot of their points came off rebounds from those 3’s, so we just didn’t do a good job of adjusting to that. Very similar to Layton Christian. Very athletic, very quick, good rebounders, good shooters.”
Cade Russell led the Trojans with 25 points while Trey Miles added 19. For Summit Academy, Jay Gilson and Isaiah Green put up 18 and 17 points, respectively. The story of the first half was the Bears’ ability to grab offensive rebounds, which allowed Summit Academy second-chance points time after time.
“We had given up 11 offensive rebounds in the first half. 11 offensive rebounds with the majority of those rebounds ending with points for them. For us, not shooting the ball all that well, and still coming out (at halftime) tied, we were pretty happy,” Matthews said.
Morgan came out of the locker room in the second half looking like a new team. The Trojans opened the third quarter on a 6-0 run, and looked like they were about to take the lead for good late in the quarter, but Summit Academy buried back-to-back 3-pointers to close the deficit to four entering the fourth quarter.
“I don’t think we gave up an offensive rebound in the third quarter — and that’s all we talked about at halftime, and it showed. We’re a different team when we don’t give up second shots,” Matthews said. “The only adjustment that we made was we have to rebound. We have to get them off the offensive glass, that’s pretty much all we talked about, and then we came out and did it. We didn’t give up many offensive rebounds, so they really came out and did what we asked them to do.”
In the fourth quarter, Summit Academy threatened to take the lead multiple times, and a pair of free throws by Green cut the Trojan lead to three points, but Morgan responded with two straight trips to the free throw line, where Russell made a pair of free throws, then Miles sunk two to put the game away with just 90 seconds remaining.
Down the stretch, Morgan missed just two free throws, making 13 of 15.
“We missed a couple (of free throws), but Cade is over a 90 percent free throw shooter. When he gets to the line, it goes in. He has worked hard to make sure he makes them, and as long as he’s on the line, we’re pretty comfortable"