Ogden • Desert Hills put the exclamation point on an emphatic Region 9 statement Thursday night by routing Morgan 42-20 in the Class 3A state girls' basketball tournament.
The victory completed a four-game sweep by Region 9 teams at Weber State's Dee Events Center, and it set up a rematch of last year's state championship game Friday between defending champion Snow Canyon and runner-up Desert Hills.
"I'm so glad we come from such a strong region," Desert Hills guard Blair Bliss said. "It helps us prepare for this because there are no easy games in region. That helps us a lot because we have to work our hardest in every game."
The Thunder (21-2) dominated from the tip, pitched a shutout in the first quarter and stunted a Morgan rally in the second half after the Region 11-champion Trojans (19-3) closed to within eight points in the third quarter.
Morgan went nearly eight minutes without a point after Jessica Carter's three-point play made it 26-18 with 2 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in the third. The Trojans, who averaged 56 points per game as the top-scoring team in 3A, made four baskets, shot 11.8 percent and had their 17-game winning streak snapped.
"The girls came out and played good defense," Desert Hills coach Chris Allred said. "We did a good job of contesting their shots and making it difficult for them to score."
Thunder center Haley Bodnar led all scorers with 10 points and used her 6-foot-3 frame to intimidate the smaller Trojans in the first half. Bliss scored nine points and Emily Seifert added seven for Desert Hills.
It wasn't long after the start of the fourth quarter that the game was decided and thoughts could turn to Friday's 2:30 p.m. rematch with the Warriors.
The teams split two regular-season meetings, with the Thunder thumping Snow Canyon 54-33 on Jan. 31.
"We definitely have some unfinished business," Bliss said. "I'm so excited. We know each other well. If you want to take state, you have to beat the best. ... I want some revenge."