Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
SPRINGVILLE — Orem grabbed an early lead and applied relentless pressure on both ends of the court to come away with an easy 74-54 victory over Springville.
It was the first loss of the year for the Red Devils who were done in by balanced scoring and dogged defensive pressure from the Tigers. Jordan Darger and his game-high 20 points led the way for Orem. Zac Hunsaker added 17 while Dalton Nixon, Quinn Peters and Cooper Holt all added 11 apiece. Springville was led by Bradley Kitchen who had a team-high 18 points.
The box score had Orem coach Golden Holt smiling big following the victory.
“My joy of coaching is to have five guys in double figures,” Holt said. “It’s so rewarding for a coach to have that balance because what you teach them is there is nothing more important than team, so when I get five guys in double figures I sleep well at night.”
Even with leading scorer Dalton Nixon ailing with the flu, Orem didn’t miss a beat. Players such as Darger, who recently returned from a shoulder injury, and Peters in particular played huge roles.
“Dalton (Nixon) was gassed and he didn’t have his normal lift, but Jordan (Darger) was back and that gave us a big boost,” Holt said. “I love Quinn (Peters) and when he has the ball in his hands its so difficult for the defense because he can do so much. When he faces the basket good things happen for us.”
Darger was especially effective early and provided 15 points of his team’s 22 points in the first quarter. Orem finished the quarter up 10 and pushed the lead to 41-29 at the half.
Orem quickly built its lead back to double digits after the half and ended the third quarter up 58-36. Consistent defensive pressure led to a lot of easy baskets for the Tigers who completely overwhelmed the Red Devils with a consistent wave of scoring from every direction.
“We don’t take stats and we don’t talk about how many points anyone has at Orem,” Holt said. “We just go and play our style of basketball and that’s what we did tonight.”
With the win, Orem improves to 10-2 on the year and 3-0 in region play. It will next travel to take on Timpview this Tuesday. Springville drops to 9-1 on the year and will attempt to rebound against Salem Hills on the road.
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