RICHFIELD — As hard as it is to be satisfied with sixth place, it's also hard for Steve Hoagland not to be proud of how Piute fought back after losing in the first round of the 1A State Tournament on Wednesday.
"As a coach it's tough to be satisfied when you know how much better they can be," said Hoagland after his team's 62-58 win over Green River Saturday at the Sevier Valley Center. "I'm always telling them to get better, get better. They joke with me about getting better. But I want them to push themselves to get better."
Part of improving is overcoming adversity.
The T-birds did just that when they overcame the disappointment of losing on the first day of play in Richfield to win three tough games in a row to end their season.
The T-birds were led by the inspiring offensive effort of Kelton Price. He scored a team-high 28 points, including six 3-pointers. He also had four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
"I can't say enough about Kelton Price," said Hoagland of the senior. "He's just a hard-working kid, academic all-state, comes to practice and works hard every day."Comment on this story
Hoagland credits his players with the success this season.
"We've got great kids," he said. "They work hard, listen and they have good camaraderie."
He said it's been a joy to coach the group.
"It's a great team, great season and most importantly, they're great people," he said.
Dylan Cunningham also played a great game with 11 points and three assists.
Green River was led by Jason Johnson who scored 32 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. His brother Justin Johnson added 16 points, six rebounds and three assists.
The loss means eighth place for the Pirates.