Grantsville kept it close the whole way, but Morgan iced the game from the foul line to give the Trojans their third region win on Wednesday, 57-46 in Grantsville.
Grantsville cut the lead to five points with a little more than three minutes to play, but never got any closer as Morgan went 9-for-12 from the foul line, including an 8-for-11 effort during the fourth quarter.
“That didn’t feel like an 11-point loss,” Grantsville head coach Bryan Detweiler said. “That was our best game, start to finish. I thought the defensive intensity was there.”
The Cowboys tied the game late in the first quarter with a 3-pointer by senior guard Jake Cafarelli. Morgan answered six seconds later, and led 13-11 at the end of the first quarter.
The Cowboys kept it close for the first few minutes of the second quarter, and first took a lead when junior forward Jackson Sandberg putback his own layup attempt to go up 17-16 with about 5:40 left in the half. The Cowboys forced a turnover on the ensuing possession, and Morgan head coach Brad Matthews was forced to call timeout.
The two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the half. Junior forward Ammon Bartley hit a corner 3-pointer to go up 22-21 with about three minutes left, and Morgan’s sharpshooters answered in kind.
Sandberg hit a floater from the lane to tie it at 24 with about 2:15 before halftime, and Morgan junior guard Seth Hadley answered with a fast-break layup a minute later. The Trojans extended the lead to five with a last-minute corner 3-pointer by junior forward Jaxson Wells.
“We got in a little bit of a hole the first quarter with the six turnovers. We battled back,” Detweiler said. “But at the end I think one of the key parts of the game was when Morgan had three missed shots, three rebounds and three baskets. I think that set the tone a little bit where we were playing catchup.”
The Cowboys shot 6-for-11 from the foul line, including a 5-of-8 effort during the fourth quarter.
Sandberg led all scorers with 24 points. Cafarelli, Bartley, senior forward Isaac Riding, senior guard Zach Capell and junior guard Kayden Bohman combined for the remaining 22 points.
Morgan senior guard Tyson Hurd led the Trojans with 15 points, all but three of which came in the second half. sophomore guard Sam Hansen chipped in another 11 for the visitors.
The loss is Grantsville’s second in the region season, while Morgan improved to 3-0 in league play.
“This was a step in the right direction. This is what I feel we should grab and we should take it and we should go,” Detweiler said. “We just competed. I challenged them before the game to compete and show who they are, play with pride and don’t stop. They competed the whole game. This was our best game the whole season so far.”
The Cowboys will next face Judge Memorial at 7 p.m. on Friday at home.