The Pirates were at home Jan. 26, and they played a strong game at both ends of the court early. But Fort Morgan took control of the tempo with its fast-paced attack and aggressive defense, eventually notching a 73-43 win.
Englewood's offense, spearheaded by the scoring of Cecil Ondack, kept pace with the Mustangs in the first two periods. However, Fort Morgan was able to maintain a track-horse-fast offense thanks to good depth off the bench, and the Mustangs outscored the Pirates 24-13 in the third period to take a 51-32 lead going into the final quarter. Englewood's attack further suffered when Ondack was forced out of the game with an ankle injury.
“Our kids are scrappy and they are working very hard,” coach Stewart Brewer said after the game. “Fort Morgan is a great team, and they are very deep. They built a good lead, but our guys never quit playing hard. We'll just keep working to turn this program around.”
Ondack led the Pirates in scoring with 10 points before he had to leave the game in the third period with an injury. Teammate Daryl Culbreath scored seven points, and Brock Breazeale and Jonathan Schroeder each scored six points for Englewood.
In the team statistics for the first 10 games, Angelo Garcia was the team's leading scorer with 132 points, which includes 29 three-pointers. Ondack was the second-leading scorer with 108 points in 10 games.
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Culbreath said playing Fort Morgan always is a challenge.
“They really push the ball up the court, and it is hard on us to continue to be with them because we don't have a lot of guys,” the junior said. “We have to keep on trying and focus on keeping on task to stay with them.”
He said as a guard, he tries to always keep moving, something he learned in football and in track.
“I had a fairly good game tonight,” he said. “My goal for the season is to get better at basketball. I really want to improve my outside shooting. I like to shoot the three-pointers. I do hit them sometimes and it feels good, plus it helps my team.”
The Pirates are 3-14 overall and 0-3 in league play after the Jan. 26 game. Englewood continues league play with back-to-back home games on Feb. 5 against Vista Peak and Feb. 9 against Skyview.