Sampson’s buzzer-beater lifts Warriors over Vikings

ST. GEORGE – Nate Gottfredson was Mr. Inside Thursday night for Snow Canyon. Tanner Sampson, he was Mr. Outside. Or folks can just call him “Clutch.”

snow-canyon-smviewmontGottfredson had 31 points and Sampson made four 3-pointers, including the game-winner as time expired, to help the Warriors to a 73-71 victory over Viewmont on the opening day of the Red Rock Rumble.

Leading by three with the ball, Snow Canyon had to play keep away and force the Viewmont Vikings to foul down the stretch. The Vikings McKay Butler, however, stole the ball, leading to two Kelton Hirsch free throws at the other end. Hirsch drained both. After a Warrior turnover, Butler was fouled by Sampson with 24 seconds on the clock. Butler drained both free throws to put the Vikings in front 71-70.

With 11 seconds left, SC coach James Brown called timeout to set up the final play.

“The original play we drew up was supposed to go to Hayden Anderson coming off a screen,” Brown said. “But as often happens, things do not go as planned.”

Chase Jenkins dribbled left, but before he could find Anderson, the ball hit off his knee. Jenkins recovered the ball and dished to Sampson instead, who had broken free in the corner. Sampson elevated and hit the 3-point shot as time expired to give Snow Canyon the victory.

Gottfredson was dominant inside, keeping the game close.

Nate Gottfredson had 31 points.
Nate Gottfredson had 31 points.

“Nate had a definite size advantage,” Brown said. “They had five guys that were all 6-2. Our guys got the ball to Nate in good position all game.”

The first half see sawed back and forth. After the first quarter, the Warriors led 21-18. The Vikings recovered in the second quarter and went in at halftime with a 41-37 advantage.

In the third quarter, Snow Canyon held the Vikings to 12 points and were back on top 60-53 after three. The fourth quarter saw the game momentum shift again with the Vikings making a comeback, only to fall short in the end.

The Vikings had four players in double-figures. Butler and McKay Johnson had 16 apiece. Hirsch and Austin Johnson scored 14 and 13, respectively.

“We did not have a chance to scout them thoroughly,” Brown said. “We knew they were balanced and we told our guys to play straight up and not to cheat off anyone.”

For the Warriors, Sampson finished with 16 points. Hayden Anderson had 8 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Jenkins led the team with eight assists.

The victory moves Snow Canyon to 5-3. The Warriors will face Corner Canyon tomorrow night at 6:45 p.m. at home. The loss drops Viewmont to 3-3. The Vikings  will face Lehi Saturday morning at 11:45 at Dixie State’s Burns Arena.

Stats: SCHS 73, VHS 71

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