That monkey which has quickly grown to King Kong proportions - is finally off the backs of the Jordan Beetdiggers.
Final score - Jordan 64, Woods Cross 59. Final relief coming from the 'Diggers' Region 6 prep basketball triumph Tuesday night - the halting of a four-loss slump.You remember the Beetdiggers - ranked in the 3A polls and atop the league standings with an unblemished 4-0 record only three weeks ago. However, four straight losses sent Jordan skidding not only out of the polls but into sixth place in the region with a 4-4 mark.
About the only thing that had kept the Beetdiggers from total disaster was that the five teams ahead of them in this week's standings - including Woods Cross - all shared 5-3 records going into Tuesday night.
So, with the win, Jordan shook off the slump and moved back into the thick of race. Coupled with Region 6 wins by Tooele, Bountiful and West, Jordan is now is a four-way tie for third, sporting a 5-4 league record with the likes of Woods Cross, Granite and Murray.
Against the Wildcats, the Beetdiggers jumped out to a 15-9 lead after the first period, but the visitors scored 22 points in the second period to recover and take a 31-28 halftime margin. Jordan battled back from double-digit deficits in the third quarter to trail by only one at 45-44 going into the final eight minutes.
Woods Cross enjoyed its final lead of the night at 49-48 with 5:50 remaining, but Jordan went on a five-point spurt - a basket by Koy Lombardi, a free throw and 3-point play by Eric Hagen - for a 54-49 lead.
Jordan, now 5-4 in the league and 6-9 overall, had Mitch Berg as its sole player in double figures with 12 points.
Matt King's 23 points were high for Woods Cross, 5-4 and 8-7.
In the following game summaries, region and overall records are included for each team.
Davis 71, Roy 56: The Darts turned a respectable five-point lead into a 15-point rout by outscoring the Royals 31-19 in the final period. Brett Barton scored 23 for Davis (6-2, 11-5); Phil Durbano's 24 points paced Roy (2-6, 3-13).
Cottonwood 73, East 53: The Leopards stay close by trailing only 32-32 at halftime, but the second-ranked Colts sprinted to a 25-10 advantage in the third period. Seth Miller led all scores with 24 points, while teammate Justin Weidauer contributed 17 for Cottonwood (6-1, 13-2). East (2-5, 7-9) was had Matt Johnson and Nate Gardner each score 10.
Highland 65, Olympus 57: The Rams avenged an earlier loss to the Titans, as Kerry Hicks scored 18 points and Justin Scott 15 for Highland (4-3, 10-5). Jim Boyce finished with 12 points for Olympus (2-5, 4-11).
Brighton 81, Skyline 45: The Bengals jumped out of the gates fast and furiously, outscoring the Eagles 19-3 in the first period alone. Derrick Welling scored 21 points and Alex Fisher added 15 for Brighton (4-3, 10-5), while Jaron Boone was the only player in double figures - with 21 - for Skyline (1-6, 6-8)
Hunter 59, Kearns 46: The first-year Wolverines swept their two-game series with the winless Cougars. Eric Norman scored 18 points and Dan Hancock added 13 for Hunter (3-6, 3-12); Robbie Taft tallied a team-high 13 for Kearns (0-9, 0-14).
Bingham 69, Taylorsville 49: The Miners claimed their sixth straight victory, outscoring the Warriors 34-20 in the first half. Of the 21 total players who scored in the game, Brian Holker led Bingham (7-2, 9-6) with 13 points, while Alan Crockett topped Taylorsville (6-3, 9-6) with eight points.
Hillcrest 64, Cyprus 40: The third-ranked Huskies held the Pirates to single-digit scoring in the first two periods while posting a 28-12 halftime margin. John Owen scored 22 points and Brian Kelley added 19 for Hillcrest (8-1, 13-2); Ev Matagi finished with 10 for Cyprus (5-4, 8-7).
West Jordan 65, Granger 38: The Jaguars' rout of the Lancers started with a 16-0 shutout through the first period. Kenny Wamsley scored 15 for West Jordan (6-3, 7-8).
Tooele 82, Granite 69: The host Buffaloes outscored the Farmers 39-19 in the middle two quarters, despite a 7-of-7 shooting display from treyland by the visitors. Todd Warner scored 23 points and Marc Lawson 21 for Tooele which used the win to remain tied for first place in the league. Pat McGrath's 21 points led Granite 1/3 Bountiful 48, Judge 44: The Braves remained tied with Tooele for the league lead with 6-3 and 7-8 records; Judge fell to 0-9 and 2-13.
West 84, Murray 59: The seventh-place Panthers surprised the Spartans, one of five co-leaders in the league going into Tuesday night's game, by outscoring them by 10 points in both the first and final periods. Chris Stepan finished with 27 points and Kevin Easter 22 for West (4-5, 6-9); Joey Johnson and Matt Baker tied for team-high honors with 10 for Murray (5-4, 7-9).
Waterford 73, West Desert 57: In a non-counting game between Region 11 teams from opposition divisions, Brian Watabe scored 15 points and Peter Cain 12 for Waterford. Nate Brown had a game-high 19 for West Desert.