Prep girls’ basketball: Morgan beats Richfield 77-30 in 3A playoffs
By bubba brown
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Feb 21 2014 09:16PM
Morgan • There were no large celebrations immediately following the game, no ecstatic eruptions. They were not necessary. The Morgan girls’ basketball team walked briskly through the postgame handshake line and that was that.
Because Morgan had done exactly what it was supposed to do. The top-seeded Trojans overwhelmed fourth-seeded Richfield from the outset in a 77-30 win Friday in the first round of the Class 3A state basketball tournament.
The Trojans, as it turned out, had plenty of motivation to avoid a first-round letdown against what appeared on paper to be an inferior team.
"When we played them [earlier in the season] it was only a nine-point game," Morgan guard Rashel Blazzard said. "So we were determined to make it a blowout game and keep them low-scoring."
The game essentially was over by the end of the first quarter. Morgan pestered the Wildcats with a swarming pressure defense, forcing turnovers and creating opportunities for easy points in transition. The lead was 38 by the end of the half.
"That’s our main focus — our press," Blazzard said. "We get those quick steals and fast breaks. We get them out of the half-court offense they’re used to."
If there ever was any hope for Richfield of getting back into the game, Blazzard repeatedly squashed it. Blazzard, the Trojans’ leading scorer and one of the top players in Class 3A, hit four second-half 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 29 points.
"Their defense played back a lot," Blazzard said. "They sucked it in tight, so the 3s were there. I came out determined to shoot and look to score."
Morgan coaches preached to the players not to overlook the Wildcats in the days leading up the game, something Blazzard admitted is sometimes easier said than done. But the message got through in the end, as the Trojans never allowed the Wildcats to snatch the momentum needed for an upset.
"It is really hard during practices and stuff," Blazzard said of not looking ahead when facing a lower-seeded team. "But once the game starts, you’re into that game and not the rest. That’s how our team is."
Desert Hills 83, Grantsville 22 • Desert Hills won in dominating fashion behind great team defense. Four players scored in double figures on the night, led by Kenzie Done, who had 20, and Blair Bliss, who chipped in 15.
Hurricane 78, Tooele 53 • Shania Hurst led Hurricane with a near quadruple-double — 13 points, 9 steals, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. Brooklyn Gubler led all scorers with 27 points.
Cedar 54, Bear River 46 • Courtney Morley led the way for Cedar with 13 points and 10 rebounds as it rode a hot first quarter and then never looked back to upset Bear River.
Carbon 33 , Juan Diego 31 • Carbon was able to pull off the upset thanks to 37 team rebounds and the solid play of Morgan Hillam (11 points and 8 rebounds) and Shelby Cornforth (12 points and 6 rebounds).
Stansbury 42, Snow Canyon 40 • After committing 10 turnovers in the first half, Stansbury had an error-free third quarter. Rachel Prescott led the way with 19 points, 12 of which came in Stansbury’s dominant third quarter.