With Friday's 67-64 victory over Beaver in the 2A Boys State Championships, Josh Park and the Juab Wasps find themselves in the same position they were one year ago - playing for the title - but they have learned from last year's loss to North Sevier.
"We left a little on the court last year," Park said. "Now we have chance to fulfill. All of us will be leaving everything on the court tomorrow."Not only will the lack of effort in 1996 be a motivating factor for the Wasps, but the constant sting of three consecutive second-place finishes (football, baseball and basketball) will also serve as a reminder.
The Wasps battle Grantsville, who beat the Wasps in the state championship games in football and baseball, tonight at 8 p.m. for the 2A crown.
"That was a nice game for us," he said after the come-from-behind victory over Beaver. "We kept our composure and played well."
Park poured in a game-high 23 points, including a key 3-pointer that gave the Wasps the lead for good at 65-64 with just over a minute left to play. Behind Park, sophomore Adam Ware and senior Matt Ware added 12 and 11 points, respectively for the Wasps.
"The last two nights we have really gotten a boost from our sophomores (Ware and Will Cano)," Jacobsen said. "In the first half Adam played particularly well."
Juab, which trailed by as many as six points in the first quarter, went on a 15-2 run, sparked by Adam Ware's and Brett Lovell's 3-point plays and Park's 3-pointer. The Wasps built a 31-19 lead midway through the second quarter. Beaver answered with a 9-2 run during the last four minutes of the first half to trim to the Wasps' lead to 33-28.
With the score tied at 48 midway through the fourth quarter, Beaver exploded to a 57-50 advantage behind five points from Lynn Dalton and four points from Whit Williams.
However, in the last four minutes, thanks to a big steal by Lovell and 3-pointers by Matt Ware and Park, the Wasps captured the three-point victory.
Williams led Beaver with 17 points, while teammates Mark Robinson and Dalton had 14 and 11 points, respectively.
GRANTSVILLE 75, NORTH SEVIER 64: North Sevier's bid for a three-peat ended as Grantville's Spencer Allred scored a game-high 25 points to lift the Cowboys to the championship game. Ameen Shaheen led North Sevier with 19 points.
GUNNISON 77, DUCHESNE 55: Aaron Hill scored 33 points, with the help of three 3-pointers and 8-for-8 from the foul line as Gunnison crushed Duchesne. Dustin Grant led Duchesne with 24 points.
ENTERPRISE 51, NORTH SUMMIT 43: Reuben Evans scored 20 points and teammate John Nelson chipped in with 16 points as Enterprise advanced to the consolation title game in its first year as a 2A team. Josh Rees paced North Summit with 12 points.
NORTH SEVIER 63, BEAVER 47: Beaver's 2A dominance of four-straight championships ended Friday afternoon and it wasn't a pretty sight.
Angie Hawkins scored a game-high 23 points, and Autumn Rasmussen added 18 more for the victorious Wolves.
The Wolves outscored the Beavers 19-9 in the first quarter on 9 points by Hawkins, and never looked back.
SAN JUAN 46, ENTERPRISE 33: Despite a six-point first quarter, the Broncos, behind 17 points from Nani Kalauli, upended Enterprise for a berth to the finals. Kathryn Hess led Enterprise with 10 points.
MILLARD 66, ALTAMONT 62: Sarah Boone scored 19 points and teammates Mandy Christensen and Amy Brinkerhoff scored 17 and 12 points, respectively, as the Eagles staved off elimination. Wyann Weidman led Altamont with 19 points.
PAROWAN 63, JUAB 53: Jossie Mortensen led a balanced Parowan scoring attack with 18 points to lead the Rams. Marcie Jackson had 17 points for the Wasps.