Prep boys' basketball: Morgan defeats Juan Diego, 76-60
Morgan • Garren Miles caught the ball in the corner and fired. He knew the Morgan Trojans needed a basket and he knew he'd given them one as the ball left his fingertips. The bench erupted moments later in unison with a frenzied student section. Miles pumped his fist.
Juan Diego had begun storming back from a 21-point deficit in the possessions leading up to Miles' shot. A layup, followed by three consecutive 3s had put the Soaring Eagle within 10 midway through the third, forcing a Morgan timeout.
But Miles' shot fell on the ensuing possession, sending a statement the Trojans have been eager to make all season: We're the champs until we're not the champs like it or not.
The Trojans' lead never wavered from that point, en route to Tuesday's 76-60 win over the Soaring Eagle in a game they said set the tone in the Region 10 race.
"We were all getting pumped up, saying this is practically it for the [Region 10] championship, so we've got to give it our all," said Miles, who finished with a team-high 20 points. "We did."
Morgan scorched the earth last year on its way to the Class 3A state title, led by one of the state's best scorers, Jake Miles. But the Trojans stumbled out of the gate this season, losing their first five games as two of their key players, Matt Murdock and Bridger Streadbeck, were out.
If doubt existed about whether Morgan could meet the expectations last year's team set, it never crept into the Trojan locker room. After Tuesday, when the Trojans grabbed control of Region 10 and won their seventh straight, Garren Miles exuded confidence.
"I think we're even better this year," he said. "All of our seniors can shoot the ball really well. Last year it was just Jake [Miles]. This year all of us can shoot it."
The Trojans quickly established the pace Tuesday, pushing the ball up the court and pressing the whole way down it. They built their lead by forcing mistakes from Juan Diego and capitalized on them. It was clear early they were a team eager to send a message.
"In that game, we really came out hard because that was a big game," Miles said. "I think this sent a big message, especially killing [Juan Diego] here."
Morgan 76, Juan Diego 60
O The Trojans take control of Region 10 with the win, as they now control their own fate.
• Juan Diego star guard Gabe Colosimo is held scoreless until late in the fourth quarter.
• Will Hofler scores a game-high 23 points on six 3s for Juan Diego.