PROVO The Mountain Crest Mustangs must have mixed feelings about their 54-47 road win Wednesday night over the Timpview Thunderbirds.
In a sloppy-but-scrappy game, the Mustangs came out on top in most of the hustle categories and outrebounded the T-Birds 35 to 25. The Mustangs also showed great depth with nine players scoring and with 22 points off the bench.
However, Mountain Crest committed 19 turnovers, missed eight free throws and almost let an 18-point fourth-quarter lead getaway.
"I don't think Mountain Crest has ever come to Timpview and beat them, so the win is nice," Mustangs coach Jim Crosbie said. "But we've got a lot of young kids who obviously made some mistakes and did some things wrong fundamentally."
The Mustangs had the T-Birds scrambling early and took advantage of several quick turnovers to jump out to a 6-0 lead. Still, the T- Birds closed to within 8-6 on a layup by center Bronson Kaufusi. But when Mountain Crest's Colton Reeder scored a put-back hoop and Chandler Smith nailed a 3-pointer, his seventh point of the quarter, the Mustangs ended the opening frame leading 13-7.
A quick bucket by Reeder to open the second extended Mountain Crest's lead to 15-7. However, the next few minutes belonged to Timpview which went on a 10-1 run to briefly take its only lead. The run started when Marcus Hunt drilled a trey from up top, after which Lincoln Selk stole the inbounds pass and banked it home. A block and fast-break layup by Kaufusi, followed by a 3-pointer from Vaughn Greening put Timpview up 17-16.
But the Mustangs still managed to take a 22-19 lead into intermission when David Johnson and Matt Stewart came off the bench to each score a basket.
The third quarter, when Mountain Crest started to spread the court a little bit, is when the Mustangs started take over the game.
"We kind of got them on their heels a little bit and got some cheap, easy baskets, and were lucky enough to hit some key threes at key times," Crosbie said.
A 3-pointer early in the third by Jason Ellis put the Mustangs up 27-19. A trey minutes later by Seth Coombs pushed the margin to 32-23. Then, when Stewart and Kyle Anderson closed the quarter with back-to-back hoops, the Mustangs went into the final period leading 38-25.
A trey by Riley Crosbie and two free throws by Coombs to open the fourth stretched the margin to 43-25. But that's when Timpview charged back. Two Kaufusi buckets and two treys by Hunt put the T- Birds within striking distance. A two-and-one by Tanner Brockbank with 2:40 on the clock made the score 46-41.
On Timpview's next two possessions, however, the T-Birds missed several shots in close that would have trimmed the lead even more. Mountain Crest then sealed the game with back-to-back fast-break layups by Stewart and Ellis."It's nice we had that lead, because we could have been beat by 20 very easily," Crosbie said.