Prep Sports Playoff Roundup
February 24, 2012
Following Thursday’s 2A quarterfinal win over Emery, the South Summit High School boys’ basketball team gathered to discuss an essential topic.
"We kind of mentioned that, two months ago, nobody gave us a shot," said first-year head coach Dusty Hatch. "I was getting some heat for how we were playing, the boys were kind of down, but the whole time, we kept saying, ‘We’ve got to stick with it.’"
The Wildcats stuck with it and are now making another deep playoff run in the 2A boys’ basketball tournament. South Summit defeated Emery 56-47 in Richfield to advance to the 2A semifinals. Senior big man Bonner Mitchell asserted himself against the smaller Spartans, scoring a game-high 20 points and snagging 15 rebounds.
"He’s so big and strong that it makes it hard for other teams’ big guys" Hatch said, laughing. "He played a great game. As we go along, he’s getting used to the double teams and triple teams."
South Summit was also paced offensively by sophomores Brad Richins (15 points) and Beau Rydalch (13 points) in the victory over Emery.
After holding the Spartans to single-digit outputs through each of the first three quarters, the Wildcats had to withstand a fourth-quarter barrage of 3-pointers by the Spartans to escape with the win.
Recommended Stories For You
Emery brought the game to within four points at 38-34 with 5:36 remaining and began implementing its press defense. Hatch said he thought the Spartans would press the entire game, but once the pressure finally came, the Wildcats beat it nearly to perfection.
Richins and Rydalch used their athleticism to beat the press and score South Summit’s first 15 points of the fourth quarter.
"We are just getting mentally tougher every game," Hatch said. "When teams make runs, we believe that we can win. We push through the runs."
The Wildcats matched the Spartans’ fourth-quarter run as each team poured in 24 points in the hectic final eight minutes.
South Summit advanced to face Richfield in a game played Friday evening after this issue went to press. On the other side of the bracket the No. 1-ranked South Sevier Rams faced the Manti Templars. If the Wildcats defeated Richfield, they’ll advance to the title game tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Richfield.
Asked Thursday night where his team’s confidence level is at after surprising another 2A team, Hatch laughed again.
"Through the roof," he said. "You’re seeing it with the guys that are starting and the guys that are coming off the bench. They truly believe that they can win."
Lady Braves stun No. 1 Richfield
Despite an early 14-4 deficit, the North Summit High School girls’ basketball team defeated the No. 1-ranked Richfield Wildcats 40-38 Thursday evening in Richfield. Susie Stephens and Samantha Nicholes led the way for North Summit, each scoring nine points, while Erica Richins (eight points), Kasidee Evans (eight points) and McKell Richins (six points) rounded out the scoring for the Lady Braves. North Summit faced Beaver Friday after this issue went to press. If the Lady Braves won Friday, they’ll advance to the 2A championship game against either North Sevier or Enterprise Saturday at 5 p.m. in Richfield.
South Summit girls eliminated by Enterprise
The South Summit High School girls’ basketball team saw its 12-game winning streak come to an end Thursday night in its 2A quarterfinal matchup with Enterprise, 38-33. The game was tied heading into the fourth quarter, but Enterprise outscored South Summit 15-10 to advance to the 2A semifinals. South Summit guard Alisha Lewis led all scorers with 15 points.