FULTON | Morgan Township gave top-ranked Oregon-Davis all it could handle in the first half of Saturday’s Class A Caston Regional semifinal, but it wasn’t enough to pull off the upset.
The Cherokees had a six-point lead after the first quarter and trailed by seven at halftime, but the No. 1 Bobcats outscored them by 26 in the second half to pull away for an 83-50 win.
“It was fun, wasn’t it; our girls played outstanding,” Morgan Township coach Kevin Krieger said. “We hung with them for two-and-a-half quarters.
“They kind of asserted their will on us the last quarter-and-a-half. It was an outstanding effort by all of our girls.”
Morgan Township (15-7) jumped out to an early 7-0 lead. Trina Coleman started the scoring with a drive to the hoop. Kameron Stanko followed by scoring off of an offensive rebound, and Brianna Leuck drained a 3-pointer.
“We worked all week on attacking their press, and for the first half we did a good job,” Krieger said.
Another 3-pointer from Leuck put the Cherokees ahead 11-3, and Coleman had a three-point play with 30 seconds left in the quarter to make the lead 22-16.
The Bobcats (20-2) started the second quarter on a 9-0 run to lead 25-22. Lueck tied the game with a 3-pointer, and Kia Holder scored on an inbounds play to put Morgan in front 27-25.
Oregon-Davis closed the half on 13-4 run to lead 38-31 at halftime. The Bobcats outscored the Cherokees 45-19 in the second half.
Coleman led the Cherokees with 17 points. She also dished out 10 assists for a double-double.
“She’s been a tremendous leader in getting the girls to believe they can accomplish anything,” Krieger said.
Leuck finished with 15 points on five 3-pointers.
Morgan Township’s four seniors—Coleman, Leuck, Katie Bachert and Hannah Murphy—were all on the floor together in the fourth quarter. They left the game at the same time to an ovation from the Cherokee fans.
“They were the heart and soul of our three sectional championship teams,” Krieger said. “They have set the bar really high for our program, and I just wanted to make sure that they finished together.
"They’ve done a real nice job the last three years of representing our program.”
Ashley Campbell scored a game-high 28 points to lead the Bobcats. Haley Collings added 15. Oregon-Davis was 16-of-22 from the field in the second half after shooting 12-of-40 in the first half.