4A boys basketball championship: Remember the Titans' defense on BYU-bound Baxter in title game
SALT LAKE CITY — Few teams have figured out a formula for beating Timpview this season — and the reason is Gavin Baxter.
Timpview’s 6-foot-7, BYU-bound forward is one of the most athletic players in the state and can dunk from seemingly anywhere in the paint.
Olympus' Matt Lindsey did a tremendous job staying in front of him through three quarters in Saturday’s 4A championship at the Huntsman Center, but when he picked up his fourth foul on a charging call with three seconds left in the third quarter it put the Titans in a tough spot.
In such a tight title game, with Olympus leading just 35-34, the potential was there for Baxter to take over the game.
Lindsey wasn’t worried though.
“I had faith in my teammates, I knew they would get the job done,” said Lindsey after his team's 51-44 victory.
Adam Larson came into the game and did an admirable job defending Baxter for four minutes while Lindsey rested before the home stretch. He held Baxter without a field goal during that stretch, even though he fouled him several times as Baxter scored four points from the foul line.
“We just told Adam it’s time for you to step up and he’s been fighting for this team this whole year and he kind of proved himself in the fourth quarter,” said Olympus’ Isaac Monson.
Larson eventually picked up his fourth foul with 3:58 in the game, which was right about the time Olympus coach Matt Barnes planned on inserting Lindsey back in the game anyway.
Just as he’d done all game, Lindsey kept Baxter out of the paint over those final minutes as Olympus pulled away for the victory.
“He was awesome throughout the whole night. He had four fouls coming down the stretch, but he knew he could guard him the best and he did. He had a really good game,” said teammate Miles Keller.
Lindsey didn’t want to take any credit for what he did against Baxter, instead crediting the entire team for containing his athleticism.
Even though Baxter finished with 18 points, nine came at the free throw line on 9-of-12 shooting and the other nine came on his three 3-pointers. Everything else at the rim Olympus contested which played a part in Baxter’s off night.
Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org