SANDY — Good teams get wins when they're not at their best, and that’s just what Jordan did in its 51-40 win over Timpanogos in the quarterfinal round of the Jordan Holiday Tournament on Friday.
Quick starts in the first and third quarters played a big role in getting Jordan off on the right foot, although the sailing was anything but smooth after it established those early leads.
“It’s just something we seem able to do in most of the games we’ve played this year — our kids always seem ready to go, which has been big for us,” said Jordan coach Rob Geertsen. “Tonight we had a bit of a problem pulling away because of the nature of the game. It was just ugly and it was probably the worst game we’ve played all year.”
Jordan held Timpanogos scoreless for the first four minutes of the game and eventually built an 11-1 run early before the Timberwolves stormed back to cut the deficit to just 24-21 at the half.
The third quarter started much like the first with Jordan scoring the first nine points of the half to lead 33-21 at the 4:49 mark. Unlike the first half, however, the Beetdiggers were able to maintain the large margin they established in the opening minutes of the second half.
“There were more than a few times when I felt we were going to break the game wide open, but we’d get some ticky-tack fouls against us and not take care of the ball. But we were able to win big despite that, which is a good thing for us,” Geertsen said. “There was just something flat in our step and we were sluggish, but we made enough of our free throws and other things to come out with a win.”
Jordan entered the fourth up 38-28 and kept that lead largely from the foul line. Nine of the Beetdiggers' 13 fourth-quarter points came from the stripe as a result of a very aggressive full-court press employed by the Timberwolves.
“We missed some, but I’m happy with how we handled the press and kept the lead for the most part,” Geertsen said.
“I was very happy with how Brandon competed and he was a big presence for us inside — just like he’s been all year,” Geertsen said. “Other than that I think just about everyone was a bit off, but Brandon is always consistent for us.”
Timpanogos was led by Jaxon Beck and his game-high 20 points.
With the win Jordan advances to the tournament semifinals and will take on Murray, which defeated Bonneville 61-41.
“We obviously want to win this thing because it’s our tournament, but we felt it was a tournament a lot of teams could win going into the thing and I still feel that way,” Geertsen said. “The kids are a bit tired, but this is a great test for us and I think for all the teams that are participating.”