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High school girls basketball: Grantsville beats Morgan, 60-40

GRANTSVILLE — Never mind the smaller school size, there aren’t many rivalries like when 3A powers Morgan and Grantsville face off — in any sport.

In an intense and physical game from start to finish, Grantsville girls’ basketball made a jam-packed home gym proud as the Lady Cowboys took down the Lady Trojans, 60-40, on Friday night.

The game remained close through most of the first half as both teams played frenetically, but after that, the Lady Cowboys settled in and opened fire from everywhere on the court, making four 3-pointers in the third quarter to open up a double-digit lead and cruise to the finish.

“We calmed down a little bit, and we started playing a little bit more composed,” Grantsville coach Megan Vera said. “We started hitting shots which helped us calm down a little bit. The offense starts to get flowing a little bit more, and then we start getting stops on defense.”

Grantsville senior point guard Kenzie Allen stole the show with a rare triple-double as she scored 19 points to go with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. She highlighted an exceptional night with a fantastic play near the end of the third quarter when after missing a 3-pointer, she stole the ball back, darted back to the same spot on the arc, and buried it on the second chance, securing a double-digit lead in the second half, 44-33, that the Lady Cowboys would never surrender.

“She’s so athletic and her (basketball) IQ is so good,” Vera said. “She’s able to manage the floor from the floor rather than me doing it from the sideline. She’s just all over the place … it doesn’t matter where the ball’s going, she’s always right by it.”

Grantsville also got 13 points from sophomore Avery Allred and 10 points from senior Maile Bartley.

Morgan junior center Liv Jaffa led the team in scoring with 18 points. 10 of those point came on putbacks from missed shots. Senior guard Elena Birkeland added 10 points and made Morgan’s only 3-pointer of the game.

Containing the 6-foot-4 Jaffa was a tough ask with every Grantsville player being under 6 feet, but the 5-11 Bartley took on the job and performed well as most of Morgan’s plays went through Jaffa with the help of senior Ellie Thomas. Bartley then turned the pressure on Jaffa in the third quarter. Luring her out to the perimeter while sinking two 3s in the third.

“We wanted to double Jaffa tonight when she was on the low block,” Vera said. “We did a decent job. There were times our weak side didn’t get back, but for the most part, I thought we executed pretty well. Maile’s actually a great shooter, and we knew that.”

The Lady Cowboys secured their seventh-straight win and moved to 13-2 overall with a 2-0 record in Region 13. They halted a two-game winning streak for Morgan as the Lady Trojans fell to 10-5.

Grantsville will stay at home on Tuesday, Jan. 17, to host Ogden, while Morgan will head home the same day to host Ben Lomond.

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