OGDEN – A band of brothers, Snow Canyon didn’t get its coveted state championship. But the Warriors endured through adversity and stuck together to capture third place with a 66-61 win over Wasatch Saturday afternoon.
“My seniors have gone through so much,” SC coach James Brown said. “I had a feeling they weren’t going to just lay down and roll over on this one.”
Snow Canyon dedicated its season to late teammate KJ Harrison, who drowned during a Boy Scout outing last summer. And there’s no doubt he was on his former teammates’ minds as they battled at the 3A State Tournament.
But the Warriors lost to Bear River Friday, meaning the best SC could hope for was a third-place finish Saturday. Still, Snow Canyon responded well the day after defeat. It was a neck and neck game as both teams got their competitive juices flowing.
“We went through a lot of adversity, but to end it on a note like this, with my teammates, we have each other’s backs,” Chandler Gines said.
The first quarter was almost a game of Horse as the two teams let the 3-pointers fly. Ten of them found paydirt, including two from Gabe Jensen and one each from Kallan Webster, Brendan Truman and Jake Frei.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” Brown said. “You know, third day legs and all that stuff. They came out and competed and found a way to win. I’m just very, very proud of them.”
The Warriors trailed 40-38 late in the third quarter, but a 7-0 run gave Snow Canyon the lead. Webster had a layup and a 3-pointer in the run and Gines’ runner at the 1:11 mark of the third made it 45-40.
Wasatch would make a run midway through the fourth quarter to tie the game at 54-54. But Truman hit his second trey of the game to give SC the lead back with 4:30 left in the game.
Snow Canyon’s lead was whittled to 60-59 on a free throw by Nate Dow with 37 seconds left. Gines was fouled, but missed his one and one free throw. However, a turnover by Wasatch gave Gines another chance and he made two free throws this time to make it 62-59 with 28 seconds left.
Fourteen seconds later, Ben Pelo scored an inside bucket to make it 62-61, but Truman and Webster nailed four straight free throws to ice the game.
“We really wanted to win our last game,” Webster said. “There’s a sense of pride there. We were able to stay focused. It’s been a good year.”
The emotional season ended on an upswing, a fact recognized by Brown and his players.
“It was just a kind of roller coaster ride that finished on the top side,” Brown said.
The Warriors, who end the year 16-7, had four players in double-figures. Gottfredson led all scorers with 16, while Gines and Webster had 14. Truman added 10.
“It’s been awesome,” Truman said. “Just playing with this team has been great. All that adversity brought us closer together.”
SC shot 46 percent in the game (23 of 50) and made 8 of 20 3-pointers.
Wasatch, which started the year 2-9, ends up 11-15. The Wasps were led by Pelo, who had 13 p[oints. Wasatch made 8 of 18 3-pointers.
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