BYESVILLE − A struggling Meadowbrook High squad put up a good fight early, but visiting Morgan would seize control with a strong second quarter to coast past the Colts for an 63-33 Muskingum Valley League victory on Friday night.
In the opening quarter, the Colts exchanged punches with the visiting Raiders with a total of three lead changes in the frame. But Morgan managed to post a slim 12-9 edge after the first eight minutes of action. Spherical Roller Bearings
Sophomore Colton Delancey paced the Colts with four points in the quarter, including knocking down a last second triple to narrow the margin to 12-9 heading to the second period. Senior Easton Eibel added another 3-pointer for Meadowbrook in the quarter.
Morgan had five players break into the scoring column, led by seniors Coleman Welsh and Hunter Shriver with three markers each.
"It's kind of been the narrative for us this year, other than the Sheridan game when we had two starters out the first quarter, plus some first game jitters and that one got away from us quickly," Jarrett explained. "The next four games now we have played, we have had one, one and have quarters where we are putting together some solid efforts."
"Tonight it was the first quarter, where we still struggled with ball security, but battled through it," Jarrett added. "But then when it rains, it pours and we just fall apart, where it goes from being down 4-8, to down 20-22 in a heartbeat and that's the game."
Things quickly went south for the Colts to open the second stanza, with the visitors posting an 13-0 run as the turnovers began to mount for the young Colts. Welsh would connect on a pair of 3-pointers for six points, to lead a lopsided 18-4 scoring edge to extend the Morgan lead out to 30-13 at the intermission.
Meadowbrook was guilty of 10 turnovers in that second quarter, to push its total to a whopping 18 for the first half.
"Once it gets away from us, our inexperience really shows up," Jarrett said. "Then it's not our feel, not our pace and our tempo. And we are panicking, throwing the ball away and the turnovers start to pile up and that's never a good thing."
Morgan head coach Rob Justice explained that some sickness that spread through his team, forced some early line-up changes that might have contributed to the somewhat slow start.
"We had a little bit of a different starting line-up in their tonight, we had some kids out sick with that flu going around," Justice explained. "So it took us a little while to get our bearings, and give Meadowbrook some credit also. They are a young team that has been struggling, but they played very hard."
"Then in the second quarter we brought the energy and our defensive effort picked up and we kind of were able to take control," Justice continued. "Our pressure really bothered them, I think we had like 25 steals recorded so that's amazing. We played good defense tonight, and that's what we need to do to be successful."
Morgan maintained control in the second half with a 33-20 scoring advantage to improve to 4-1 in MVL play and 4-4 overall with the MVL road victory.
Senior Rowdy Williams paced the Raiders with a game-high 17 point night, with junior Carson Mummey adding double figure support with 11. Welsh and junior Cutter Myers each just missed double figures with nine points.
With the lopsided loss, head coach Teryn Jarrett's team slips to identical 0-5 marks in MVL play and overall.
Delancey finished with 11 points to lead the Meadowbrook scoring, while Eibel checked in with eight, senior Dayne Singleton with seven and junior Garrett Milam added six markers.
"I can't fault my guys effort, they are giving me all they have," Jarrett stated. "There is just no easy fix, it's just reps, getting that experience on the floor with the lights on. We are playing three seniors, with only two of them with a little varsity time. Then we are playing four sophomores, a couple juniors and two freshmen. So we are playing a lot of young guys who need to grow up quick, and the only way to do it unfortunately is to get in there and get those reps."
Morgan captured a 48-41 win in the JV match-up with Luke Coleman leading the way with 17 points, and Cole McGill added 10. Gunner Davis led the young Colts with 11 points, while Garrett Milam and Deshaun Mayle each tallied seven points.
NEXT − Both teams return to action Tuesday, with Meadowbrook visiting River View and Morgan hitting the road to Philo with 6 p.m. JV starts at each site.
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