WEST VALLEY CITY — Shoot off fireworks. Sound the alarms.
Bountiful is the real deal.
The Braves, winners of 13 consecutive games and 11 of those by double digits, put on a performance worthy of a Las Vegas show in its 50-33 dismantling of Timpview in the 4A tournament's opening round.
In the win, Bountiful (19-2) physically dominated the paint, outscoring the T-Birds 34-12, and played up-tempo, suffocating, in-your-face defense from start to finish — forcing 16 turnovers and held Timpview under double figures for the first three quarters of play.
"I was nervous, believe me," said Braves coach Mike Maxwell. "Timpview is a pretty good team, they've won some games and were coming in on a little bit of a roll. We had to prepare for a really tough team. First rounds are never easy."
In the early stages, the Thunderbirds (12-10) had cut a small deficit to 12-8 when Rickey Shumway banged a 3-pointer from the wing.
Brit Harding put a stop to any hope or glimmer.
Bountiful's leading scorer connected on back-to-back 3s — one in the nearside corner and the other from the wing — ending the first at 18-8.
Harding finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. Maxwell said he "expects" that out of his best player.
The pace didn't drop heading into the second quarter. On the first two possessions, Bountiful's defense created fast break opportunities. With the score at 20-8, Dain Murdock crossed his defender on the perimeter, then cycloned into the key with a runner off the glass forcing Timpview to use a full timeout with 6:33 left in the half.
"As long as we have that pace, then we're gonna be fine," Maxwell said about the effectiveness in transition. "I think our defense is good enough to hold people down."
The Braves won the fast break battle, 10-0, along with scoring 14 points off turnovers.
"It's knowing our people. We call it knowing personnel. You spend your time on your videos knowing what their strengths and weaknesses are," Maxwell said. "We go over it and over it. He's gonna drive right or he can't shoot a jump shot, pulls up for threes every-time. We preach it into their heads and our kids (have) smart enough IQs of basketball."
Bountiful, only managed three points in the third quarter, but finished strongly. Maxwell said his team settled for jump shots after halftime, however, resorted back to taking the ball to the tin in the fourth.
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