High school basketball: West Jordan survives first round scare
OGDEN — When Granger's Austin Scott converted a lay-up late in the third quarter Monday to put the underdog Lancers up three, West Jordan coach Scott Briggs wasn't necessarily surprised.
"It felt like a playoff game. I don't feel like playoff games are ever easy. That's what we kept telling our kids, keep battling, keeping trying to rebound and keep getting to the free throw line and try and survive and advance," said Briggs.
That's exactly what his team did.
The Jaguars outscored Granger 21-2 over the next seven minutes to pull away for the 61-43 victory in the first round of the 5A boys state tournament at the Dee Events Center.
"I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping their composure and not riding the roller coaster that a lot of teams get caught up doing," said Briggs.
It would've been easy for West Jordan to panic with Granger — the only team in the tournament with a losing record — playing so well early on.
"We just had to sit down and play D and get some stops and keep rebounding," said Jaguars' forward Jordan Loveridge who led all players with 22 points and 13 rebounds.
With West Jordan leading 39-37 early in the fourth quarter, Seth Barrus knocked down one of his two 3-pointers to extend the lead to 42-37. The Jaguars scored 11 more points to open up a 53-37 lead with 2:56 remaining in the game.
Loveridge scored seven points during the stretch, many of them coming from the free throw line as he finished the game 14 of 18 from stripe.
The big man was consistent all game scoring 10 points in the first half and 12 in the second half.
"He gets a lot of attention from everybody that we play. But what's really nice about Jordan, with all of that attention sometimes he gets roughed up and banged around a bit, but he's done a really good job all season of keeping his composure. He doesn't seem to panic, he kind of lets the game come to him," said Briggs.
Granger was the team that panicked Monday after falling behind early in the fourth quarter. It started to rush its offense and came up empty on nine straight possessions.
With the victory West Jordan advances to the 5A quarterfinals and will face Lone Peak on Wednesday at 4:15 p.m.
"If we end up playing them, we obviously know how good they are. We have a ton of respect for them, but we'll be ready to play," said Briggs.
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