OREM — Enterprise coach Larry Shurtliff wasn’t completely satisfied with trading baskets with North Summit in the fourth quarter of his team's opening-round playoff game, but he’ll take it.
By doing as much, the Wolves staved off a comeback bid by the Braves and walked away with a 76-66 win in the 2A boys tournament Saturday.
“I definitely would have preferred some more defensive stops, but we benefited from a nice run entering the fourth that gave us a good lead and we just sort of maintained it,” Shurtliff said.
The run Shurtliff referenced was a 5-0 burst to end the third quarter that gave Enterprise a 48-40 lead entering the fourth. Not a huge run, by most standards, but enough to provide a comfortable lead and spark much-needed momentum.
Most of the momentum went North Summit’s way throughout the third quarter. The Wolves entered the second half up 31-23, but the Braves kept coming — slowly chipping away at the lead until finding themselves down just 43-40 with less than a minute remaining in the third.
Following a timeout, Enterprise snatched back the momentum quickly and convincingly. A running jumper in the lane by Justin Prisbey was followed up with a 3-pointer from Connor Phelps at the buzzer to finish out the period.
“I thought that last push there really was the big moment of this game,” Shurtliff said. “North Summit is a great team and they kept coming at us, but I think that last push really got us on the right track going into the fourth.”
Enterprise’s eight-point lead entering the fourth proved a more than adequate margin for trading baskets until the game’s final buzzer. North Summit did manage to trim the Wolves' lead to six points, but that’s as close as the Braves got during the final period.
Most of the scoring for Enterprise in the fourth, and throughout the game, was done by Prisbey, who finished with a game-high 27 points.
“He’s so good and so versatile,” Shurtliff said. “He’s so good at creating his own shot, so we did a lot of (isolation) plays for him because of that and he really responded well. He was huge for us today and he‘s fun to coach.”
With the win, Enterprise advances to the second round and feels good about its chances to go all the way.
“A lot of teams can play basketball in this tournament, but I like our odds,” Shurtliff said. “We’re playing some good basketball and now we just need to keep it going — hopefully keep it going until the final game.”