High school boys basketball: Eddy Hall steps up big time down the stretch for Mountain Crest in 4A quarters
OGDEN — Eddy Hall has had plenty of superb performances as a standout athlete at Mountain Crest High School.
But while he's been a two-time all-state selection in football, the tough, tenacious little senior generally lets his teammates take the spotlight in basketball, where Hall is a spark plug guard who's content to let the Mustangs' big guns handle the scoring load while he serves the role of unselfish playmaker.
But in Thursday's 4A state tournament quarterfinal clash with Herriman, Hall stepped up big time when his team needed him most, calmly splashing in 6 of 6 free throws in the final 1:58 to help Mountain Crest turn back Herriman 52-47 at the Dee Events Center.
"My coaches, one of our assistants, told me I needed to make something happen and that's what I did," said Hall, who's listed generously at 5-foot-9 in the program and finished with 10 points — double his season-long average.
"Eddy's a tough competitor," said Mountain Crest coach Gordon Buchmiller. "He's one that's been starting since he was a sophomore and obviously with his football background, and then where we've had to use him in basketball is a huge asset for us.
"He makes a lot of things go for us. So that is not expected but that's something that Eddy can do any game."
Thursday's win puts Mountain Crest (17-5) in Friday's 4A semifinals against neighboring Cache Valley rival Logan, which knocked off East 66-62 to put three Region 5 schools — Mountain Crest, Sky View and Logan — in the final four of this year's 4A championship chase.
"It's exciting," Hall said. "We were here (in the semifinals) my freshman year, but I'm glad to be back."
Senior guard Tyler Crosbie led the way for Mountain Crest with 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals, and he hit two free throws with 13.7 seconds left to put his team on top by five and out of reach of the "other" Mustangs from Herriman.
But it was a huge play in the final minute that that might've swung the outcome in Mountain Crest's favor. With the Cache Valley school clinging to a 47-45 lead, Crosbie was fouled by Herriman star guard Z Arima, and the two started jawing at each other after the whistle.
After a near-scuffle, officials called a double technical on the two combatants — giving Arima his fourth foul — and Crosbie made 1 of 2 free throws.
But the double-T resulted in a jump-ball situation, and since the possession arrow pointed Mountain Crest's way, the northern Mustangs got the ball out of bounds following Crosbie's missed free throw.
On the ensuing possession, Hall wound up getting fouled by Arima — his fifth infraction, fouling him out of the game — with 28.2 seconds left, and Hall hit both free throws to make it a five-point game at 50-45.
"We were fortunate there," admitted Buchmiller. "That definitely could have had a big swing in their favor if it was going the other way, but hopefully we'll have a little better composure next time."
Francis Bernard hit a jumper for Herriman to again pull the southern Mustangs within three, 50-47, with 17.2 seconds left, but Crosbie's free throws seconds later restored Mountain Crest's insurmountable five-point advantage.
"It was big. It was really big," Crosbie said of how the double technical worked in his team's favor. "I had no idea.
"(Eddy) was phenomenal. He took it to the basket, made some tough shots, and down the stretch he was hitting free throws, playing good D. He was all-around today. He's usually a facilitator but we needed him today and that was huge for us."
For Herriman, Arima scored a game-high 16 points and had four assists before fouling out, and David Maynard added 14 points for the 'Stangs, who led 28-26 at halftime but managed just four points in the third period to fall behind.
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