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1A boys basketball first round: Wayne outlast Whitehorse, 66-60

By David Anderson

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 29 2012 7:39 p.m. MST

RICHFIELD — It had already proven to be a day with upsets during the opening round of the 1A state tournament, so it wasn't a surprise when Whitehorse's boys basketball team knotted the game with 58-all with 2:31 against Wayne.

Wayne's Badgers were able to hang on to deliver the win 66-60 at the Sevier Valley Center.

"We knew coming in this would be a battle," said Kade Morrel, Wayne's coach. "I think I gained about 25 gray hairs tonight."

Zack Taylor put up a shot from under the net with two minutes remaining to spark an 8-0 run for the Badgers to secure the win.

Ty Rees hit four foul shots in the final minute, capping a perfect night for him from the charity stripe. Rees also led the Badgers in scoring, with a total of 36 points, including five 3-pointers.

For Rees, it was a game that marked overcoming an earlier back injury.

"It bothered me through the last few games," Rees said. However, in the game against Whitehorse, Rees said his confidence level was at the highest it's been all year, even as the Raiders closed in on Wayne's lead several times during the game.

"Coming out of the region tournament, we played the No. 1 and No. 2 teams, and those games were both like that," Rees said.

Senior Karl Holly led the Raiders as he stole the ball several times and scored 27 points, including three 3-pointers.

"He's a great player," Rees said.

Holly started the game off with a trey, which Wayne's Taylor Albrecht answered with an inside jumper. Whitehorse's Tavis Martin fired off a 3-pointer, putting Whitehorse up 6-2.

Rees then hit his first downtowner of the night, which started a 12-point sprint for the Badgers, with points from Albrecht, Austin Davis and Zack Taylor.

Whitehorse's Tristan Mitchell snapped the Badgers' run with a field goal, followed by another by Holly. By the end of the first period, Wayne had a comfortable 18-11 edge.

Through the second stanza, Whitehorse chipped away at Wayne's edge, closing the gap to four points by the break.

Wayne was able to spread the gap in the third period to 45-39, thanks in part to a 3-point bomb launched by Austin Davis as the buzzer sounded.

The first four minutes of the final quarter consisted of a battle between Rees and Holly as they traded off making baskets for their respective teams.

Martin was able to go on a 5-point run for Whitehorse, knotting the game at 56-all.

Wayne's Taylor broke the deadlock with a layup. He scored again off a fast pass from Rees to put the final points on the board for Wayne.

"I struggled early in the game," said Taylor, who plays post for Wayne. "It has to start some time. We just had to buckle down and do it."

Earlier in the day, Green River, Rich, Layton Christian and Tabiona moved up the bracket.

The 1A tournament continues through Saturday.

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