PROVO — Payson used good backcourt play and some solid production from the foul line late to beat Provo on its home floor, 46-35, in boys preseason basketball action Tuesday night.
The Lions' two senior guards, Clint Bateman and Tanner Newbold, controlled the flow of the game from start to finish in securing the win.
After trailing 6-0 in the first quarter, Payson responded with a 12-1 run, which was sparked by 3-point buckets by both Newbold and Bateman.
The Lions went on to build an 18-13 lead at the half due to some very good defensive play and some poor production by the Bulldogs from the foul line. Provo had the advantage in free throws — 13 attempts to just four for Payson at the half — but couldn't take advantage, connecting on just five of their freebie opportunities.
"I thought that our defensive game plan was outstanding," said Payson coach Dan Lunt. "Our guys executed, we took their big guys out of the game, which I thought was their strength — everything feeds from the inside-out — and I think we took that away. Kids just played well defensively."
Indeed, Payson (3-0-) had to overcome a considerable size disadvantage, but did so with dominant backcourt play.
Provo pulled within three points, 31-28, early in the fourth quarter, but Payson went on a 15-7 scoring spree in the final minutes to pull away.
Free throws played a huge role in the Lions' victory, as all 15 of their fourth-quarter points came from the charity stripe. They went 15-of-16 overall during the quarter, with their lone miss coming during the final seconds when the game was no longer in question.
"This is a veteran team. That's what we expect from them and they delivered, and we wouldn't expect anything less," Lunt said of about his team's fourth-quarter performance.
Newbold led all scorers with 15 points, including three 3-pointers. He was followed closely by Bateman, who chipped in 14 points, going 6-of-6 from the line.
Provo (1-1) was led by Jonny Flake and Dallin Bosco, who contributed seven points.
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