High school boys basketball: Weber Warriors turn back Mustangs' comeback bid

Published: Friday, Nov. 30 2012 11:40 p.m. MST

PLEASANT VIEW — When Weber High moved out to a seemingly safe 18-point lead over Mountain Crest late in the third quarter of Friday night's preseason boys basketball game, it looked like the Warriors might coast in from there.

But somebody forgot to tell the visiting Mustangs.

Tyler Crosbie and Faimafili Laulu-Pututau fueled a furious Mountain Crest comeback, and it took some clutch plays down the stretch by Weber's Hayden Schenck, Auston Tesch and Garrett Beckey to give the Warriors a narrow 70-67 win in a hard-fought contest that more closely resembled an intense region matchup than it did the two teams' third non-league game of the young season.

"I give Mountain Crest all the credit," said Schenck, who scored a game-high 30 points — amazingly his lowest point total of the season after going off for 34 and 37 in the Warriors' first two preseason wins. "It is hard to maintain the lead like that, but I give the credit to them. They were hustling and they did out-hustle us for awhile, and then we jumped back in it and finished it like a team.

"It was really good for us for region. That's a good test, late in the game, back and forth, and it turned out we came out with the victory. ... Preseason wins are always good and they get you ready for region, so we've got to keep going hard so we can get ready and prepared for region."

Schenck scored 22 of his points in the first half, when he led Weber to a 49-35 halftime lead. The Warriors then stretched that advantage to 18 points, 55-37, with 1:49 remaining in the third quarter.

That's when Crosbie and the Mustangs mounted their comeback, eventually catching the Warriors at 59 on Pututau's layup with 4:20 to play in the game.

From then on, it was anybody's ballgame, with the score being tied two more times over the next minute and the lead changing hands four times in the final 2:15 before Tesch's basket-and-one gave Weber a 69-67 lead with 37.5 seconds left.

After a Crosbie miss, Beckey pulled down the rebound and was fouled, hitting a free throw to make it a three-point game, 70-67, with 10.6 seconds to go. Crosbie then missed two potential game-tying 3-point attempts in the closing seconds before the final buzzer sounded.

"They played better than us in the third and fourth quarters," Weber head coach Mark Larsen said of the Mustangs. "We came in at the break and all the adrenaline just went away, all the air went out of the building.

"... Crosbie and Pututau carried them, and that's what they do. They've been playing for them for three years, since they were sophomores; they're great, great players, and they carried them when they needed them to. That's what you expect out of your great players.

"Crosbie was a tough cover for us tonight and, fortunately, he missed one at the end, because that could've just as easily gone down. It looked good from where I was sitting. It was just a little long," Larsen said. "He's such a good player. We've been playing against those guys in the summer and he's just a great kid. Their coach (Graydon Buchmiller) does such a great job with their guys and they're gonna win a lot of ballgames."

Beckey finished with a dozen points and a game-high nine rebounds for Weber (3-0), while Mason Miles also hit double digits with 10 points and grabbed six boards. Jaren McKnight added eight points and Tesch scored six off the bench.

Crosbie contributed 25 points, six rebounds and four steals to the Mountain Crest cause, and he scored 18 of those points in an unstoppable 5 1/2-minute stretch that started late in the third quarter and continued until midway through the fourth period.