OGDEN — With just over 2 minutes remaining, Logan found itself tied at 51-51 with heavy 4A favorite Orem in the first round of the state playoffs after leading the entire game. Despite the situation the Grizzlies didn’t panic — they had been there before and knew what needed to be done.
Senior Dallin Dahl drove the lane to score a bucket to give his team back the lead and, following a defensive stop, sophomore Tyler Brimhall calmly lined up a shot behind the arc to give Logan a 56-51 lead with 1:15 remaining. The shot was a dagger in the heart of the defending state champs and all but sealed the improbable upset.
Orem attempted to come back, but Logan — composed as ever — hit its free throws and advanced to the next round with a 65-60 win.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling right now,” said Logan coach Logan Brown. “We just accomplished something we knew we could — we just had to play a close-to-perfect game, and you saw that right there. We had to hold Orem down for four quarters, which is tough with as talented as they are. It’s tough to come in and defend the state champs, as good as they are, but I’m just so proud of my guys.”
Brimhall led Logan with a steady barrage of 3-pointers from the opening minutes until crunch time, when it mattered most. The Grizzlies went 10-17 from behind the arc with Brimhall accounting for five of those makes in just seven attempts.
“We have some guys who can flat out shoot the ball,” Brown said. “What we talk about is being fearless, and to be the guy who takes the first swing — not to be afraid of these guys, but get out ahead of them and attack, and I think you saw that tonight.”
Logan went a staggering 8-12 from 3-point range in the first half to build a 38-33 lead into the locker room. It was a pace no one believed the Grizzlies could maintain, but a deep bench and incredible poise kept the Tigers at bay and ultimately won the game.
Great teams like Orem aren’t given to just lay down and they made a big run in the second half, eventually cutting Logan’s lead to 47-44 at the end of the third quarter and tying the game at 49 in the opening minutes of the fourth.
The Logan players knew what high-powered Orem would present going in, but knew they had to play as close to flawless as they had all year to earn a victory.
“You can see the athletes they have out there; you make one mistake and it’s a dunk for them going the other way,” Compton said about his opponent. “I just tried to get us in our stuff, play team basketball, and that’s when we’re at our best.”
Compton controlled the pace for the Grizzlies at the point and finished with 7 points, six assists and three steals. Brimhall led all scorers with a game-high 23 points on 8-12 shooting from the field. Dahl contributed 12 points and some key free throws down the stretch that kept Orem at bay.
Defense was also key for the Grizzlies. From the opening tip they used an aggressive, trapping defense to throw Orem off rhythm.
Logan was also aided by one of the best high school crowds you’ll see. Grizzly students packed the Dee Events center and played a big part in pumping up their team and helping secure the win.
“Our fans are the best around,” Compton said. “I couldn’t believe it — I’ve grown up watching basketball tournaments and I’ve never seen a high school crowd travel like that, and I can’t thank them enough.”
With the win Logan advances to the next round, where it will take on East.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @BrandonCGurney
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company