Cedar puts up a fight, but falls to Morgan in state quarterfinals

Cedar vs. Morgan, 3A State Basketball Tournament, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 26, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

WEST VALLEY CITY – Morgan beat Cedar 50-43 to earn the Lady Trojans a ticket into the state semifinals, but the Lady Reds didn’t go down without a fight.

cedar-smmorgan-sm“Cedar’s been playing so well and I knew we were in for a fight to the end,” Morgan head coach Kade Morrell said. “I was proud of my girls for keeping their heads up, even when Cedar went on that run.”

Morgan had an excellent third quarter, using quick passing and forced turnovers to create some separation from the Lady Reds. From a 21-21 halftime tie, the lead grew to 34-26, but Cedar was able to pull to within 34-28 before quarter’s end.

CHS then started the fourth period with four quick points on fast breaks to make it a 34-32 game. Morgan had a chance to stretch it back out, but missed on three straight free throws.

Courtney Morley (23) hustles up court on a fast break for Cedar, Cedar vs. Morgan, 3A State Basketball Tournament, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 26, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Courtney Morley (23) hustles up court on a fast break for Cedar, Cedar vs. Morgan, 3A State Basketball Tournament, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 26, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Morley used a beautiful dish to McKenna Collins to cut the deficit to 35-34 with just under seven minutes to play. Morgan Myers then completed the comeback with two free throws to put CHS ahead 36-35 with 5:45 left.

Morgan then scored four quick points to take a 39-36 lead. Brooklyn Hurlbut’s bucket created the three-point bulge. with four minutes to go. Hurlbut struck again at the 2:22 mark to make it 41-36.

Enter Morley, who scored, stole the ball and scored again to make it 41-40 with 1:55 to play. Morgan pushed it to 45-40, but Morley hit a 3-pointer to cut it to a one possession game with 44 seconds left at 45-43.

Savanna Brooks missed one free throw for MHS to give Cedar a chance, but a 3-pointer was off the mark with 27 seconds left. Morgan then iced the game at the line.

It was more of a Cedar-type game, with the score in the 40s. Morgan averages more than 60 a game and is the second-highest scoring team in the state. Cedar, meanwhile is the best defensive team in the state.

But the Trojans, led by Hurlbut’s 13 and Jessica Carter’s 12, had just enough points, despite shooting just 37 percent from the floor (17 of 45). Cedar made one less shot while attempting the same number. The 41-28 advantage on the boards may have been the key stat. Lily Henry had 11 of those boards for MHS.

Morgan will face Carbon at 2:30 p.m. in the first 3A girls semifinal Friday here at the Maverik Center.

Cedar, which ends the year 19-4, got 10 points from Javlyn Weaver and 9 from Morley, but was ultimately outscored 13-7 in the fourth quarter.

3A Girls Basketball Championship bracket

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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