Morgan, Cougars top Vikings in Big Eight opener

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Eric Schmoldt
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

JANESVILLE--Janesville’s basketball community honored the late Bob Morgan before the Craig and Parker High boys teams tipped off Tuesday night.

Cougars senior James Morgan continued the tribute to his grandfather well into the second half of an oft-sloppy, oddly early Big Eight rivalry game.

The younger Morgan scored all 11 of his points after halftime as Craig pulled away to a 73-52 road victory.

“It was awesome that they honored him,” Morgan said. “I had heard at school that they were going to do it, and it was really special.

“He was a great coach. He taught my dad the game, and my dad taught me.”

“Morgy,” as Bob Morgan was known, passed away in September. He left behind a legacy throughout the state for his basketball coaching and service. Most notably during his 11 seasons as Parker’s head coach, he led the Vikings to an improbable 1971 state championship.

The basketball at Parker on Tuesday night was far from championship-caliber, but the Cougars built up a double-digit lead in the third quarter and overcame 19 turnovers to move to 2-0 (1-0 in conference).

“We’re not real happy with the way we played,” Craig coach Mike Miller said. “I thought we did a poor job blocking out and didn’t shoot well from the line.

“Any win is a good one. But also, from a coaching standpoint, you’re out to execute, too.”

Craig made just 18 of 32 free-throw attempts but benefited from an early lead thanks to senior guard Jerry Ngobi. He scored 17 of his team-high 18 points in the first half.

Parker senior J.J. Scott when toe-to-toe with Ngobi, scoring 15 of his game-high 21 over the first two quarters to keep the Vikings (1-1, 0-1) within striking range at 35-26.

“It was everything we worked and stressed all week—we’ve got to win the rebounding battle and not turn the ball over, and we didn’t do that,” Parker coach Ryan Masterson said. “I think our guys were almost too fired up. Craig played a lot smarter than we did.”

Morgan’s 3-pointer in the early stages of the third quarter gave the Cougars an 11-point cushion, and they led by double digits the rest of the way.

“I had first-quarter nerves a little bit,” Morgan said. “But once Coach took some of the starters out, I stepped up to score.

“We’ve just got to get back to practice. We’re obviously pumped about it, but it was a pretty sloppy game. We’re going to be playing teams like Sun Prairie and Madison Memorial, and we’ve got to get to practice.”

Spoken like the grandson of a coach.

Last updated: 11:25 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2013

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