SPRINGVILLE Lehi boys basketball coach Craig Gladwell likes to label his team's possessions.
It's really a simple formula. There are good possessions and bad possessions. In the Pioneers' 63-47 win over the Springville Red Devils on Wednesday night, Gladwell found only seven bad possessions, and only one of those came in the second half.
"We did what we wanted to do tonight better than we have all season, in working the ball to get the good shots," Gladwell said.
The quality possessions the Pioneers had for most of the game resulted in a load of high-percentage shots. In fact, Lehi took only a handful of shots outside the paint and made only one 3-pointer in the game. There were just too many layups and short bank shots that got in the way.
"We strive to make so many passes before we get a shot, and in the second half, other than turnovers, we had only one possession where we didn't do what we wanted to do," Gladwell said.
Sophomore center Will Walker had a huge game for Lehi, with 25 points and 11 boards with four of those coming off the offensive glass. Overall, the Pioneers had 29 rebounds, eight of which were of the offensive variety.
"(Walker's) been getting shots like that every game but hasn't always been able to finish. But he finished real well in there tonight," Gladwell said of his young post player.
Despite the final score, the Red Devils still gave Lehi all it could handle and if not for a few cold stretches the game probably would have been close to the end. Actually, the game's first five points came from Springville's Brad Kohler. But when Walker began to take over the post late in the first quarter, the Pioneers finished the period on a 10-2 run to take a 13-9 lead.
In the second, Lehi got some additional inside help from Jacob Obiama - who scored the Pioneers' first six points of the quarter to help them march out to a 21-11 lead. When Walker hit another short bank shot late, Lehi was up 27-14. However, a 3-pointer by Alex Mortensen and layup by Riley Crandall made the score 27-19 at the break.
The Red Devils came out pressing in the third and climbed right back in the game when two inside hoops from Kohler and a short jumper from Michael Salazar cut Lehi's lead to 27-25. But the rest of the period belonged to Lehi, which scored the final 13 points of the frame to take a 40-25 lead. Walker scored four straight hoops in the run and Corey Smith buried the Pioneers' only trey.
Buckets by Obiama and Smith to opened the fourth moved Lehi out to a 44-25 lead. But Springville responded, thanks again to some defensive pressure, and a trey by Salazar and five straight points from Mortensen cut Leh's lead to 11. The rest of the way, however, the Pioneers were able to break Springville's press and get some easy baskets to coast to victory.Besides Walker's 25, Smith had 13 and Obiama had 10 for Lehi. Springville got 14 from Salazar and 11 each from Kohler and Mortensen.
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