Meet Alan Spencer, Duchesne High's 6-foot-6 senior center. See Spencer score 25 points - including all four of his team's overtime points - to lead the Eagles to a 62-60 overtime triumph against Green River in Saturday's 1A state basketball championship game.
Watch Spencer also tally eight rebounds, four assists and a pair of blocked shots. See Spencer play all but 1:09 of the 35-minute, extended-length contest, lead the Eagle fast break in the second half and eventually wear one of the two cut-down nets and tote around the 1A trophy.Not bad for a someone with only one good leg. Not bad for someone who injured his left knee in Wednesday's opening-round game, who didn't play Thursday and who only made a half-game appearance in Friday's semifinal. Not bad for someone who is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery Monday to repair cartilage damage.
"Isn't that neat?" asked Duchesne Coach Stan Young. "The kid coming in and doing something like that . . . Basically, he did the whole thing tonight."
Well, not the whole thing - teammates Jason Young and Jared Mitchell contributed 14 points apiece - but a good share of the important things, such as canning two game-winning free throws with two seconds left in OT.
Green River had forced the extra period after trailing 36-25 at halftime. The Pirates displayed patience in the second half to tie it 58-all at the end of regulation.
In fact, the Pirates broke out first 20 seconds into the OT, with Greg Parsons hitting a long jumper before Spencer tied it again with a short J 40 seconds later. On the ensuing possesion, Green River delayed taking a shot until about 20 seconds remained, with Duchesne coming up with the loose ball following the missed-shot scramble.
Young missed a 3-pointer, and Mitchell could only tip at the ball before Spencer got the rebound and was fouled going back up, putting him on the line for his game-winning free throws.
Duchesne finishes its championship season with a 21-3 record and an 18-game winning streak. Plus, the Eagles can boast that they lost to no other 1A team, with the three preseason defeats coming at the hands of 2A's Wasatch and 3A's Ogden and West. Meanwhile, Green River ends at 22-4, with three of the four losses being to Region 13 peer and league champion Duchesne.
Of course, an overtime 1A title affair was the farthest thing from anybody's mind after Duchesne jumped out to leads of 20-13 and 36-25 after the first two periods. Young and Robbie Bench bombed away from the perimeter, while Spencer and the 6-foot-5 Mitchell pretty much had their say inside.
But Green River showed the same composure it had exhibited throughout the four-day tournament at the BYU Marriott Center and outscored Duchesne 20-13 in the third period to draw within four. Tom Hughes scored nine of his team-high 19 points in the third, while Gary Quarnberg added seven of his total 17.
"We switched defenses, we did everything we could think of - and we just couldn't get the momentum back," said the elder Young, complimenting his opponents. "They played so smart. They could have given up for dead a the half."
Green River Coach Stan Parsons agreed. "We did the same as last night - we decided to go inside," he said, adding that a half-dozen passes on each possession set up the success.
It was more of the same in the fourth, as the Pirates chipped away at the deficit, with Hansen's trey at :50 making it 58-56 for Green River's first lead since an opening 1-0 advantage.
However, Spencer tied it with 35 seconds left and the Pirate players didn't notice their coach calling for a timeout with a half-minute remaining. "We may have gotten it," said Parsons of the game, had the timeout been called and the strategy set.
Instead, Green River didn't stop the action until only five seconds remained, and the Pirates were unable to get off a good shot before the final buzzer.
Spencer hit his pair of free throws with only two seconds left in the overtime, giving the Eagles a seemingly safe two-point margin and the Pirates hopes that only a "Hail Mary" heave from backcourt could go in and salvage the game and the 1A crown.
Hold everything - isn't this a flashback to last week's 2A championship, when Emery did just that to Richfield on Steven Gordon's 45-foot, buzzer-beating shot for the 84-83 OT win? And wasn't that a handful of Richfield players sitting on press row just behind the Green River bench, reminding the Pirates that, yes, anything can happen?
While it - the miracle shot - happened against Richfield last week, it didn't happen for Green River, as Hughes' three-quarters-court toss bounced off and over the top of the backboard, giving Duchesne its first-ever state basketball champion-ship.
Funny thing was, after doing the obligatory post-game celebrating with the nets and trophy and all, the Eagles started to look a little unaccustomed to this championship stuff and sheepishly started to head for the locker room, despite the ongoing cheering from the Duchesne faithful. "Hey," shouted Young at his players. "I wouldn't leave the court yet. Take all the time you want."
You see, those first-ever titles can only come once.
Parowan 81, Kanab 69
The Rams defeated the Region 12 Cowboys for third-place honors in a foul-plagued contest - 86 total personals were whistled on both teams.
Tyler Munson scored a game-high 26 - he was 14 of 16 from the line - for Parowan, while Brandon Thornton added another 21. Tyler Houston led Kanab with 17, with Jim Lyons added 14.
Piute 91, Bryce Valley 79
In another all-Region 12 contest, the T-birds outran the Mustangs early, building up leads of 25-14 and 58-40 after the first two periods. With the win, Piute claimed fifth place.
Jason Togersen finished with 32 points - 14 2-pointers plus a trey and a field goal - and T-bird teammates Michael Bagley, Travis Fullmer and Scott Stapley also scored in double figures with 19, 16 and 14, respectively. Bryce had its five starters also in double digits and accounting for all but four of the Mustangs' points, paced by Eric Stout's 19 and Brayton Talbot's 18.
South Summit 64, North Summit 53
The two teams met for the fourth time - twice in regular-season competition and in the league tournament finals - and the Wildcats earned their fourth triumph over the Braves - this one good for sixth place, as South Summit outscored North Summit 23-14 in the final quarter.
The teams' top scorers were a couple of new faces - at least for the tournament. South Summit's Brian Sargent finished with 16, while Sam Garfield had 20 for North Summit.