The Morgan Trojans wasted no time in scoring as many points as they could to spoil Senior Night for the Grantsville Cowboys.
All of the Trojans’ starters sat on the bench during the fourth quarter with the game out of reach, as they cruised to a 96-53 win on Wednesday night, which was the final home game for six Cowboy seniors.
Caleb Edwards, Quinton Smith, Skyler Cloward, Braydon Hamatake, Shad East and Landon Hammon played in their final home game as Grantsville Cowboys. During a season that included a 12-game losing streak, the Cowboys have tried to find silver linings with their current 6-15 record. “They understand it’s just a game,” Grantsville coach Chris Baker said. “They’ve taught me a lot about that. It’s just who they are, and I love them for it. They just like to play.”
Baker said his players, especially this year’s six seniors, have taught him about character this season.
“They’re just good, good kids,” Baker said. “They’re all going to be great dads, great husbands. They’re all going to be successful. I’m excited to go to their weddings. I’m excited to go their mission farewells. I’ve been emotional for two weeks because I don’t think I’ll ever have six kids I’ll care about as much as those six boys.”
Cloward said playing for Baker has taught him to never give up, hustle and play his hardest. “Sometimes shots aren’t going to fall,” Cloward said. “As long as you keep going, you just play forward. He would always say play forward.”
Cloward scored 8 points on Wednesday while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out one assist. The leader for all the seniors in scoring against Morgan was Hamatake, who scored 10 points. Smith scored 9, and East scored 4. Junior forward Devin Adams led the Cowboys with 19 points, and junior guard Devon Arellano hit a 3-pointer.
Morgan sharp-shooter Jake Miles scored 20 points, all in the first three quarters. He rested in the fourth quarter with the rest of the Trojan starters. The bench players got close to that 100-point mark, and Grantsville held the ball in the final minute to prevent them from getting to 100 points.
“The kids did not want to let them get 100 points,” Baker said. “That’s why with that minute left, I didn’t care if everybody was booing us in the whole country. We were not going to give them two more possessions.”
The Cowboys held their own in the first few minutes before the Trojans blew things open. Hamatake opened the Cowboys’ scoring with two free throws. He was followed by Cloward, who snagged an offensive rebound and put back the layup for the Cowboys’ second bucket. East then came down and scored a layup to cut the score to 7-6 in favor of Morgan. But the scorching shots and ferocious defense took over, and the Trojans ended the first quarter on a 25-4 run.
Adams started making his shots in the second quarter, helping the Cowboys pull within 13 points at one point with the score at 38-25. But just as quickly as the Cowboys scored, the Trojans answered and then some to take a 52-30 lead into halftime.
The Cowboys opened the third quarter on a 9-4 run. Hamatake opened the scoring in that quarter followed by Cloward finding Edwards for a bucket. Adams then put in a layup and then dished an assist to Smith for a 3-pointer. The Trojans once again put the nail in the coffin with a 20-0 run to go into the fourth quarter with a 76-39 lead.
Grantsville plays its season finale on Friday at the Ogden Tigers. When those two teams played against each other in Grantsville on Jan. 16, the Tigers pulled out a 50-39 victory. The Cowboys had the lead going into the fourth quarter of that game, but the Tigers put together a 23-9 scoring run in the fourth to get the win.