Following a sluggish first quarter that left West High facing an eight-point deficit, the Women of Troy were in need of a spark.
Mikaela Morgan delivered that spark and then some.
Morgan scored all of her game-high 26 points in the final three quarters as West High overcame an early deficit to race past Mount Pleasant 62-45 Saturday in a non-conference game at West High.
The win was the third straight for West High, which improved to 10-9 entering the final week of the regular season.
“We were patient; we didn’t panic,” Morgan said of the early deficit. “We just let the game come to us and took care of what we needed to.”
Mount Pleasant jumped to an early 16-8 lead after the opening quarter thanks to 7-of-13 shooting from the field in the first eight minutes.
West High wasted little time getting back into the game.
Morgan had a pair of steals that led to layups during an 8-2 run to open the second quarter as West trimmed the margin to 18-16.
“We started getting more pressure on the ball and they had a hard time handling our pressure,” Morgan said. “That allowed us to get some steals and push the ball up the floor and get layups.”
Following a basket by Phipps in the paint, West High put together an 11-0 run to end the half.
Bella Lozano-Dobbs started the 11-0 run with a steal and layup and Morgan scored the final five points of the half on a 3-pointer and a couple of free throws as West High built a 27-20 lead.
“I thought once Mikaela got a few of those steals and layups then her jump shot was there,” West High coach BJ Mayer said. “She is a good shooter and we are going to keep giving her the opportunity to shoot it, early it wasn’t going but she knows she’s suppose to keep shooting it and keep finding her open teammates and I thought she did that as well.”
After committing four turnovers in the opening quarter, West High forced Mount Pleasant into 12 in the second quarter turning several of those into easy layups in transition.
The women of Troy were 4-of-12 from the floor in the first quarter but went 8-of-17 in the second quarter thanks to several easy baskets.
“We really wanted to speed it up the whole game, we weren’t able to get that taken care of in the first quarter but I thought from the second quarter on it really became a lot more up tempo,” Mayer said. “We forced them into some turnovers and got some easy baskets.”
West broke the game open in the third quarter as Morgan scored eight points in span of less than a minute to push the lead to 39-26.
The junior scored on a putback, hit a 3-pointer and converted a conventional three-point play all in a span of 51 seconds, turning a seven point West High lead into a 39-26 advantage.
Morgan scored 13 of West High’s final 21 points in the third quarter as the Women on Troy stretched their lead to 52-35 after three quarters.
“Those easy shots are big just for confidence, the layups early in the game helped get me going,” Morgan said. “Once I got a few of those it helped get me settle in.
Mount Pleasant committed 25 of its 29 turnovers in the final three quarters and was held to 38 percent shooting after the opening quarter as West outscored the Panthers 54-29.
“The more stops that we got as a team on defense allowed us to have more energy on offense,” Morgan said. “We got some stops and turned the defense into some easy shots.”
West shot 43 percent from the field and had nine players score Saturday.
Lazano-Dobbs added nine points for West High while Grace Tafolla had six for the Women of Troy.
“I thought early we got outhustled but after that we picked up the intensity,” Mayer said. “Our kids know that on any given night anyone can beat anyone else so we have to be ready to play.”
Mount Pleasant (45) – Shelby Allender 3-5 4-6 10, Taryne Shull 3-12 1-2 9, Kelsi Phipps 7-9 0-2 14, Natalie Ita 1-4 0-0 3, Mary Wester 0-3 0-0 0, Hannah Becker 4-9 0-0 9, Totals 18-42 5-10 45.
West High (62) – Paige Parker 0-2 0-0 0, Regan Steigleder 2-3 0-0 4, Bella Lazano-Dobbs 4-5 0-0 9, Grace Tafolla 3-10 0-2 6, Ali Tauchen 2-3 0-0 4, Mollie Mason 2-6 0-0 4, Jessie Harder 1-5 0-0 3, Mikaela Morgan 10-22 3-5 26, Kelsey Sehr 1-1 0-0 2, Emily Halverson 2-6 0-0 4, Totals 27-63 3-7 62.
3-point field goals – ICW 5-25 (Parker 0-2, Steigleder 0-1, Lazano-Dobbs 1-2, Tafolla 0-4, Morgan 3-11, Harder 1-5) MP 4-11 (Allender 0-1, Shull 2-5, Phipps 0-1, Ita 1-2, Becker 1-2). Rebounds – ICW 26 (Halverson, Tauchen 5) MP 39 (Ita 10). Turnovers – ICW 8, MP 29. Total fouls – ICW 13, MP 12. Fouled out – None. Technicals – None.