State hoops titles for Bryce Valley boys, Milford girls cap off big winter for small school sports

Bryce Valley vs. Panguitch, state 1A high school boys basketball championship, Richfield, Utah, Feb. 29, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

RICHFIELD — The Bryce Valley Mustangs outlasted the Panguitch Bobcats in overtime to win the boys 1A state basketball championship at the Sevier Valley Center Saturday night. At the girls tournament earlier Saturday at the same venue, the Milford Tigers defeated the Rich Rebels to win Milford’s first-ever girls basketball state title.

Following are short summaries of the weekend’s action, which capped off a successful winter sports season for smaller Southern Utah high schools in the 1A and 2A classifications. Recaps of other recently completed sports follow the basketball summaries.

Boys 1A basketball

Bryce Valley 36, Panguitch 34 (OT)

Bryce Valley vs. Panguitch, state 1A high school boys basketball championship, Richfield, Utah, Feb. 29, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The Bryce Valley Mustangs and the Panguitch Bobcats entered Saturday night’s state championship game with each having knocked off a higher-seeded school the night before.

In the first semifinal game Friday, fifth-seeded Bryce Valley upset top-seeded Manila in overtime, 52-49. In that game, Bryce Valley had trailed 46-40 with less than a minute left in regulation, but Sergio Vasquez sank two free throws with 7.5 seconds left to force overtime. The Mustangs then scored the first four points in the OT period and held on to win.

Then, in the late game Friday, No. 6 seed Panguitch upset No. 2 seed Valley, 34-33, with the Buffaloes missing a potential game-tying free throw in the final seconds.

Saturday’s title game was similarly thrilling, with both teams making comebacks in the second half.

Panguitch trailed 17-6 for much of the latter half of the second quarter, with the Bobcats getting their only points of the period on a 3-pointer at the buzzer that cut Bryce Valley’s lead to 17-9. The Bobcats then went on a 15-7 run during the third quarter, which ended with the score tied at 24.

Midway through the fourth period, Panguitch hit a couple key shots, including a 3-pointer by Kyler Bennett, to build a 32-26 lead. Bryce Valley answered with two clutch treys of their own – the first by Quayden Tebbs and the second by Vasquez – to tie the score at 32-32. That ended up being the score when regulation time ended, as neither team was able to convert a shot during the last couple minutes.

Early in the OT period, Bryce Valley’s Westyn Clark put the Mustangs ahead with an inside bucket, but Panguitch’s Klyn Fullmer answered for the Bobcats with a similar drive at the other end that tied the score 34-34.

Neither team scored again until Bryce Valley’s Treyson Roberts, after taking a pass from Vasquez, flung up a shot from inside the lane with only a couple seconds remaining. The ball bounced twice on the rim before falling through the net as the buzzer sounded, giving the Mustangs the dramatic 36-34 victory. Watch video of the final play in the embedded tweet from St. George News Sports:

Roberts finished with a game-high 15 points for the Mustangs, while the Bobcats were led by Fullmer’s 13 points.

It was the fourth time the two teams had met this season, with Bryce Valley winning all four times.

Girls 1A basketball

Milford 48, Rich 42

Milford players pose with trophy on their home court after defeating Rich to win the state 1A high school girls basketball championship in Richfield, Utah. Photo taken in Milford, Utah, Feb. 29, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Milford High School via Twitter, St. George News

In a foul-plagued contest, the No. 6 seeded Milford Tigers upset the top-seeded Rich Rebels 48-42 Saturday at Richfield to win the school’s first state title in girls basketball.

The Tigers attempted a remarkable 49 free throws during the game, making 24 of them. Meanwhile, Rich went 22-of-34 from the line.

Milford had used an 11-4 run in the second period to take a 24-16 halftime lead. Rich narrowed the deficit to four points by the time the fourth quarter started, but the Tigers managed to pull away again and hold off the Rebels down the stretch.

Kinsey Williams scored 16 points to lead Milford, while teammate Aliza Woolsey added 15. 

Milford had faced a tough semifinal challenge from No. 10 seed Panguitch Friday night, but the Tigers were able to hold on for a 50-40 victory. Panguitch then went on to defeat No. 12 seed Water Canyon 54-42 in the consolation game for third place on Saturday.

2A boys basketball

The 2A boys state championship game, which took place in Richfield Feb. 22, featured No. 7 Beaver and No. 8 seed Enterprise. Both teams had upset higher seeded teams in the quarterfinals Feb. 20, with Enterprise knocking off top-ranked Kanab 48-43 and Beaver outlasting No. 2 seed Parowan 40-35. 

Then, in the state title game, the Region 18 rivals faced each other for the third time this year. They’d split the regular season matchups, with each team winning on the road. 

The championship game started slowly, with Beaver building a 9-4 first-quarter lead. The teams picked up the offensive pace late in the game, with Enterprise scoring more points in the fourth quarter (25) than it had in the first three quarters combined (24). Still, the Wolves’ rally wasn’t enough to overcome the Beavers, who prevailed 55-49 to take home the 2A title.

Beaver junior Ky Brown led all scorers with 24 points, while senior Nate Brown added 10. Enterprise was led by Tyler Hiatt’s 13 points, with Levi Randall adding 12.

2A girls basketball

In a thrilling girls 2A state championship game at Richfield Feb. 22, the Millard Eagles of Fillmore County outlasted North Summit in triple overtime, 77-75. 

Kobree Penney of Millard led the way for the Eagles with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Teammate Rylee Miller added 19 points, including a pair of game-winning free throws with three seconds left in the third overtime.

2A drill

The Kanab High School Lariettes won their second-straight drill state title at Orem on Jan. 31, with the Enterprise Wolverines placing second overall for the third year in a row. Read the full story here.

Note: in a change since last year, 1A schools participating in drill must now compete in the 2A classification. 

1A wrestling 

The Panguitch Bobcats won the school’s first wrestling title since 2000 with a convincing win at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield on Feb. 8. 

Individual gold medalists for the Bobcats were Korban Osburn at 106 pounds, Thomas Marshall at 113 pounds and Wylee Fawson at 145 pounds. Five other Panguitch athletes placed second in their respective brackets.

Panguitch finished with a team total of 213 points, with runner-up Rich scoring 151.5 and Piute coming in third place with 140.

2A wrestling 

The 2A wrestling tournament in Richfield on Feb. 8 was a closely fought battle, with Duchesne ultimately prevailing over rival Altamont. The Eagles finished with 244.5 points to Altamont Longhorns’ 220. Taking third place with 208 points was Beaver High, which had three individual state champions: Hagen Mayer at 106 pounds, Brian Evans at 132 pounds and Brock Edwards at 145 pounds. 

Also at the 2A tournament, Millard placed fourth, Enterprise took sixth and Kanab finished seventh.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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