Grantsville would like to start every game like it did against Morgan Friday night in its first region game of the season.
The Cowboys raced out to a 20-4 lead after the first quarter thanks to three 3-pointers from Tate Allred and another triple from Brigham Mulford.
Grantsville was doing something right defensively as well. With Grantsville up 7-4, the Cowboys held the Trojans scoreless in the final 3:40 of the first quarter while scoring 13 consecutive points to gain a 16-point advantage after one quarter.
Morgan regrouped and trailed by only seven early in the third quarter, but the Cowboys responded to all Morgan runs and came away with a 58-42 victory.
“Our guys were just excited to play a region game after having the first game postponed and we were going up against our biggest rival,” said coach Nate Austin. “We also had some stuff at the school during the week that was causing some stress, so playing a game gave us some relief. We really got off to a good start. We got some open looks and Tate hit three 3’s to get us started and Brigham added a 3.”
The coach said the bye gave them a little extra time during the week to prepare for Morgan’s 3-2 defense. He said most teams do not play a 3-2 defense.
The Cowboys scored the first seven points of the game on two inside baskets, one from Gabe Mouritsen and another from Allred. Allred then hit a corner 3 to give Grantsville a 7-0 advantage.
Morgan scored a pair of buckets to make it 7-4 with 3:40 left in the first. The rest of the quarter belonged to the Cowboys. Mouritsen scored inside on a pass from Dillen Richardson, Allred hit back-to-back triples, one from the right corner and one from the left corner. Carter Killian scored on a drive, and Mulford ended the first quarter with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer. Grantsville could do nothing wrong.
Grantsville increased the lead to 28-7 early in the second quarter. An 8-point run included foul shots from Jace Sandberg and Allred, a corner 3 from Killian and an inside basket from Richardson.
Morgan, however, closed out the first half on a 10-0 run to trail 28-17 at intermission.
Morgan narrowed the gap to 28-21 early in the third quarter, but Mouritsen staved off the Trojan rally with a pair of 3-pointers in the quarter. He hit one from the corner and another from the top of the key.
Grantsville scored the final eight points of the third quarter. The run started with a Killian drive, then Killian received a sweet pass from Mulford for a 2-plus-1. Allred followed his own miss inside for a basket at the buzzer and the Cowboys were back out to a 15-point lead 45-30 after three quarters.
The Cowboys continued to roll in the fourth quarter. Killian started the quarter with three points with a basket and foul shot. Mulford scored on a layup after he stole the ball at midcourt, and Mouritsen received a sharp pass from Sanberg and the Cowboys were up 54-34 with 4:35 left in the game.
“We do have goals to win a region championship and a state championship, but the main thing is to make sure we get better each day and become the best that we can be, learn to give our best,” the coach said.
Grantsville hosts Ogden on Wednesday, Jan. 19, plays at South Summit on Friday, Jan. 21, travels to Ben Lomond for the make-up game on Monday, Jan. 24, and hosts Layton Christian Academy on Wednesday, Jan. 26.
Scoring: Allred 19, Killian 15, Mouritsen 12, Mulford 9, Richardson 2, Sandberg 1.
Rebounding: Richardson 6, Allred 5, Mouritsen 5, Eli Mondragon 3, Mulford 3, Killian 2, Sandberg 1, Conner Sorenson 1. Assists: Killian 5, Mulford 3, Richardson 2, Allred 1, Mouritsen 1, Mondragon 1. Steals: Mulford 2, Killian 1, Mouritsen 1. Blocks: Killian 1.