While Alta and Cottonwood were "spurting" each other to death in the battle of Region 2 co-leaders, it took a complete effort from the Colts' Justin Weidauer to help provide a winning edge.
Weidauer, who has committed early to attend BYU next year, posted some pretty impressive numbers Friday night in Cottonwood's 72-61 victory over Alta.The 6-foot-7 senior center scored 31 points on 11 shots made from the field and 9-of-11 shooting from the line - and the two FT misses equaled his failed attempts from the floor as well.
As for rebounding, he collected 17 defensive boards and another four on the offensive end. Then throw in a handful each of blocks, assists, and steals and you have the catalyst for a domination.
Or do you?
The Hawks, who defeated the Colts 58-57 in overtime in their previous meeting last month, took everything - Weidauer's 31 points and a 21-point contribution from Seth Miller - in stride while whittling first-half deficits of a dozen-plus points and second-half losing margins of nearly 20 points down to single-digit size and threatening to catch up and perhaps overtake second-ranked Cottonwood.
Just a quick look at the quarter-by-quarter scoring is evidence enough of the back-and-forth battle. First period - 20-8 Cottonwood; second - 17-12 Alta; third - 23-13 Cottonwood; fourth - 23-17 Alta.
Do we see a trend having developed here?
"It was a game of spurts," said Cottonwood Coach Blair Martineau. "The first quarter was as good of a quarter as we've played all year. And then the second was as poor as we've played."
And Martineau could have gone on and on and on and on - about the turn-around quarters and the dueling spurts.
It all started in the opening quarter, with the Colts nursing a 10-8 lead with less than three minutes remaining. Weidauer followed a rare first-period missed FG with a tip-in, which started a 10-0 Cottonwood run, with Miller making three straight baskets and Weidauer adding a long baseline jumper for the 20-8 lead at the end of the quarter.
More of the same in the second, as Cottonwood coasted in maintaining its 12-point advantage at 29-17, with 3:31 left to play. But it was Alta's turn to take the offensive, as Ryan Bills scored five points of the Hawks' 8-0 to draw to within 29-25 before the Colts settled for a 32-25 halftime advantage.
Alta drew to within 38-32 during the first three minutes of the second half, but Cottonwood ran off nine straight points and a 17-6 surge to end the quarter with a 55-38 advantage.
But just as the Colts looked to be ready to tag Alta with the knockout blow, the Hawks used long-range shooting and several treys in the fourth quarter to pull within seven points in the final final two minutes. But the Colts connected on two two-and-one plays and four additional free throws to polish off the win.
"They just wouldn't quit, with all those 3-pointers," said Martineau of Alta's five treys - three by Scott Sexton and two by Justin Barlow.
However, the Hawks were off the long mark early, with some missed 3s late in the first period allowing the Colts to get off and running to their double-digit lead.
Bills finished with 22 points to lead Alta, while Sexton added another 17.
With the win, the No. 2 Colts improved to a league-best 7-1 record and a 14-2 overall mark, not to mention a five-game winning streak since their loss last month at Alta. Meanwhile, the Hawks drop to 5-2 in the region and 11-5 overall, having their own four-win streak ended with the road loss.