The outside shooters came with their targets in the locked-on position when Morgan visited Skyline in a boys’ basketball game Thursday night.
And Morgan’s shooting prowess surprised not only the host Eagles, but also the Trojans’ coach.
Eventually though, when the hot hands cooled off, the visitors needed a steady presence under the basket — and Morgan got it from junior Trey Miles, who finished with 27 points as the Trojans took a 74-58 victory.
“We really shot well that first half. We’re confident in them, and our shooting percentage goes up every game,” Morgan coach Brad Matthews said. “But that’s the best that we’ve shot.”
Miles, along with teammates Cade Russell, Laine Carter and Tyson Hurd, all canned 3-pointers in the first quarter. To some extent, Skyline coach Kenny James said he expected some of that.
“I knew that 10 (Russell) could shoot it. I knew that 24 (Miles) could shoot it. I had no idea those other guys could shoot it like that,” James said. “They hit open shots and we couldn’t trap them. Everytime we tried to trap them, they punished us.”
Skyline (5-7) was playing short-handed as it had three of its leading scorers sitting out due to suspensions. James said after the game that he expected two of the three to return next week.
But early on the Eagles demonstrated outside proficiency as well. Similar to Morgan, four Skyline players — Adrian Wilde, Anish Singh, Taylor Larsen and Tim Lont — all swished treys in the first half.
Behind 18-16 late in the first quarter, Morgan (10-2) went ahead on a long-range shot by Russell. At the first period buzzer, Miles buried a 3 while on the run toward the bucket for a 22-18 advanage.
With a 9-3 streak to start the second, the Trojans raced out to a 10-point lead. Russell finished with 20 points while Hurd (16 points) and Carter (11) also got into double figures.
Miles scored nine points early in the third quarter as Morgan raced to a 17-point advantage. But the Eagles, led by Lont’s 14 points, trimmed the margin to seven when Wilde scored a layup off a turnover to start the fourth.
Answering with a pair of free throws, Miles then scored on a reverse layup on a feed from Kaleb Calderwood to stem the tide.
Most of Miles’ output the rest of the way was through field goals in the paint and free throws — although he did swish one last important 3-pointer with 3:05 left to make the score 65-54. The Trojans put the game away with nine straight points in the last two minutes.
“Usually our first quarter is our worst quarter, but we made it one of the best quarters I’ve seen,” Miles said.
A year ago, the Trojans failed to qualify as one of the four teams out of its region to go to the playoffs. Miles said he feels this year is on a different track.
“Last year was just frustrating. This is a lot of teamwork going on right now and I really like it,” Miles said.
Storylines<br>• Trey Miles scores 27 points to lead Morgan to the victory. The Trojans had only four players get in the scoring column as starters Cade Russell (20), Laine Carter (11) and Tyson Hurd (16) all got into double figures.<br>• Skyline, like Morgan, has four different players connect on 3-pointers in the first half.<br>• The host Eagles, without three of their leading scorers due to academic suspensions, are paced by Tim Lont’s 14 points.