RICHFIELD — In what many considered an upset, Richfield High School defeated Wasatch Academy 58-41 in the first day of the 2A state tournament at the Sevier Valley Center.
Wasatch Academy came into the game with a 20-2 record, including the only win recorded against 2A favorite South Sevier. Wasatch Academy finished its region season 7-1.
Meanwhile, Richfield entered the battle with a 15-6 overall record, and a 4-4 region record.
The game started as Richfield's Jordan Kemp launched two 3-pointers, giving the Wildcats an early 6-2 lead. The 3-pointers proved to be an important tool in the dismantling of Wasatch Academy's Tigers.
"Anytime you can spread a defense with 3-pointers like that, it will open things up," said Rand Janes, Richfield's coach.
Kemp led the Wildcats as his pair of treys helped him reach 16 points. Tyler Anderson posted 14 points for Richfield, followed by Zak Jensen, who posted 10.
The Tigers scored twice in the first period, with buckets from Insa Kaba and Cody John.
Meanwhile the Wildcats dominated the scoreboard, with an 18-4 edge after the first period of play.
The Tigers clawed their way back into the game as John scored three inside shots in the second period on his way to being the game's leading scorer, with a total of 17.
Kaba and Damjam Sredanovic also added points to Wasatch Academy's effort in the second stanza. Richfield retained a 29-13 edge by halftime, thanks in part to scoring plays by Anderson, and Josh Henry.
Zak Jensen kicked off the second half of the game by nailing his second of three 3-pointers. Anderson, Henry and Tanner Monroe all put up points for Richfield in the third period, which ended with the Wildcats up 44-23.
Wasatch Academy went on a 12-point jaunt that was interrupted by a single trey by Richfield's Jensen to start the final period. The run put the Tigers 12 points behind the Wildcats.
Monroe put a stop to it, nailing two from the free-throw line, and another from the paint. Kemp followed with six points.
Shots by Mahamoud Diop and Fred Krajacic in the final minute were not enough to cut into Richfield's margin of victory.
"It was a good team win," Janes said. "They shot the ball really well, and really worked together."
Richfield's next game is at Friday vs. South Summit (12-11) at 9:10 p.m. Wasatch Academy drops to the losers bracket and will face Emery (11-10) at 5:50 p.m.
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