Class 4A’s leading scorer, East’s Parker Van Dyke, had a banner opening day of the state tournament on Monday scoring a whopping 30 points, the high for the day in all eight games at the Maverik Center.
His performance helped lead East to its first tournament win in a decade, a 66-56 win over Springville. He said a lot of the credit also needs to go to the football players on the team, who’ve instilled a winning attitude throughout the program.
“I feel like we’ve got a lot of football players on the team, and they’ve really focused on that family mentality. The football players have brought that into the basketball team and we have a brotherhood going on and it’s made our team a lot better,” said Van Dyke.
The East-Springville game was one of just two 4A first round games which both teams broke 50 points.
The other was an absolute dandy, and easily the best game of the opening day of the state tournament as Herriman’s Jaden Rasmussen hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Mustangs over Logan, 56-55.
It was only fitting that Tueni Lupeamanu, Herriman’s quarterback, tossed Rasmussen the pass that led the game-winning basketball. He said he trusted his teammates, “just like football.”
The big shot denied Logan a chance to beat Herriman in the basketball playoffs just like it did in the football playoffs.
For the most part it was a defensive day in the opening round of the playoffs, headlined not surprisingly by the best defense in 4A.
Bountiful held Timpview to just 33 points in a 50-33 first round victory. It was the fifth time in the past seven games that the Braves held an opponent to less than 40 points.
Coach Mike Maxwell said great basketball IQs by his players, great athleticism and a lot of film study have led to the remarkable defensive season.
“You can talk about defense, but I don’t think I’ve changed my philosophy. But these guys understand it and have a basketball IQ. They just know what we’re talking about. They say, ‘oh yeah I get that, I know what to do,’” said Maxwell.
Skyline turned in a solid defensive performance as well in a 38-31 win over Sky View. Eagles point guard DeSean Miller finished with 10 points, five assists and four rebounds as he continues to flourish under first-year coach Derek Bunting.
Olympus pounded the ball inside to beat Bonneville in the first round 41-37. Both Will Cannon and Parker Rawlings finished with double-doubles as the Titans continued to move away from being too relient on the jump shot.
“It’s kind of been our point of emphasis the second half of the year. I kind of told my kids 18 games into it, I don’t want to break your heart, we’re not the greatest 3-point shooting team,” said Olympus coach Matt Barnes.
Provo knocked off defending 4A state champion Highland in the first game of the night as Adam Finch hit several clutch free throws in the final minute of the 43-39 win.
After winning just four games last year and missing the playoffs, Provo is back in the quarterfinals. Finch said the frustration of the miserable 2010-2011 season has helped refocus the team for a successful 2011-2012 season.
No. 1 Orem had no problem with Woods Cross in the first round with a 57-47 victory. The Tigers defense held Woods Cross to just 27 percent shooting.
The story of the night though was Zach Hunsaker’s efficiency in beating his old team.
As Woods Cross’ starting point guard last year, Hunsaker led the 'Cats into the 4A semifinals. Playing against his old teammates for the first time since transferring to Orem, he scored 13 points and finished with a career-high nine assists.
Region 5 No. 1 seed Mountain Crest beat Hillcrest 44-37 early in the day as Tyler Crosbie and Famafili Laulu-Pututau each scored 13 points.
Crosbie’s clutch 3-pointer late in the game gave the Mustangs a 38-35 lead, a lead they would never relinquish. For Crosbie, he’s the latest Crosbie in the family wreath making a name for himself.
Region had the best showing of the day with a 3-1 record. Region 6 and 8 teams went 2-2, with Region 5 only advancing one team into the quarterfinals.
Here's a link the box scores and game stories for all eight first round games.
Game 1: Provo 42, Highland 39
Game 2: Mountain Crest 44, Hillcrest 37
Game 3: Olympus 51, Bonneville 37
Game 4: East 66, Springville 56
Game 5: Skyline 38, Sky View 31
Game 6: Orem 57, Woods Cross 47
Game 7: Bountiful 50, Timpview 33
Game 8: Herriman 56, Logan 55
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