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High school boys basketball: Beetdiggers rally to shock Lone Peak

Published: Tuesday, July 7 2015 10:18 a.m. MDT

HIGHLAND — Jordan showed unbelievable resolve Wednesday night in by far its most impressive victory of the season. Trailing for all but the final two minutes of regulation and most of overtime, the Beetdiggers could've wilted on countless occasions throughout the night on Lone Peak's home floor.

Despite what seemed like impossible odds as Lone Peak super freshman Nick Emery went off for a game-high 29 points, Jordan plugged away the entire game and eventually pulled out a thrilling 71-64 victory.

"I thought we completely gutted this one out. The difference tonight was we stayed together and kept our composure," said Jordan coach Rob Geertsen. "It's a great way to bounce back after a tough loss at Alta."

In handing Lone Peak its first home loss since November of 2007, Jordan improved to an impressive 4-1 in Region 4, while Lone Peak fell to 3-3 in league action.

"We were confident coming in here that we could compete with them, and we just wanted to keep it close and see if we could do something at the end," said Geertsen. "Lone Peak's a heck of a ball club, but we've got a good one too."

Early on Jordan seemed to feel the pressure of Lone Peak's home-court edge.

Capitalizing on five straight Jordan turnovers to start the game, Lone Peak took an early lead and didn't relinquish it until Joe Mero knocked down one of his five 3-pointers with 2:24 remaining in the game putting the 'Diggers in front 55-54.

Mero finished with a team-high 20 points, and with the score level at 59-59 with 11 seconds remaining Geertsen called a time-out to draw up a play for his 3-point specialist for the final shot of regulation.

Lone Peak was prepared defensively and disrupted Jordan's timing which forced point guard Steve Morgan into a running floater along the baseline, a shot that nearly went in before bouncing off the rim.

Very quickly the Knights grabbed a 64-60 lead in overtime, and it seemed as if Jordan might've missed its chance to steal the road victory.

Considering it never wilted in regulation, it wasn't surprising that Jordan fought through the adversity in overtime.

The 'Diggers cut the lead to 64-63 on a 3-pointer by Morgan, regained the advantage on a pair of Morgan free throws and then extended the cushion to 68-64 on a 3-point play from Kevin Goldsmith with 30 seconds remaining.

"We're down four there in overtime, and we gut out two or three of the best defensive possessions we've had all year and it turns everything around," said Geertsen.

Jordan's defense forced Lone Peak into eight straight misses as it closed the game on an 11-0 run.

After hitting big shot after big shot throughout the game to maintain its 4-to-8 point lead, the Knights went cold when it mattered most and finished the game shooting 37 percent from the field.

Morgan was instrumental in the victory for the Beetdiggers by finishing with a career-high 16 points, 12 of which came after the third quarter.

e-mail: jedward@desnews.com

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