LOGAN Spanish Fork point guard Dallin Naulu's contributions don't often show up in the box score; they're usually much more subtle. That was once again the case on Thursday.
The senior only scored three points in the opening round of the Logan High Holiday Classic, but his poise in leading the offense was instrumental as the Dons picked up a 66-58 victory over Canyon View.
"Dallin took control of the team and got us in our offense," said Spanish Fork coach Mark Bailey.
With the victory Spanish Fork advances to today's semifinal against the host Logan Grizzlies at 5 p.m. Canyon View faces Fallon, Nev., at 1:30 in the consolation bracket.
Naulu needed to be at his best because Class 3A's Canyon View gave one of 5A's best all it could handle.
Even though Spanish Fork led by as many as 10 points midway through the third quarter, Canyon View whittled the lead to one entering the fourth quarter to remain within striking distance. Unfortunately for the Falcons, the Dons' 44-43 lead quickly ballooned to 50-43 just two minutes into the fourth quarter thanks to a 3-pointer from Breck Lewis and a rebound-putback by Kevin Roberts.
Spanish Fork's dominance on the glass was the difference in the game as it grabbed 17 offensive rebounds leading to 17 second-chance points.
"Finally we crashed the boards well and got some extra looks and the guys knocked them down," said Bailey.
Spanish Fork used balanced scoring from Matt Gardner (14 points), Roberts (12 points) and Zack Clayton (11 points) to improve to 6-3 on the season.
Canyon View's Tyson McGrath led all scorers with 30 points in a dominant offensive performance.
The teams traded baskets throughout much of the first half until Gardner buried back-to-back 3-pointers to help Spanish Fork close the half on a 10-3 run taking a 33-25 lead. It extended that lead to 39-29 early in the third quarter, but the Falcons from Cedar City weren't going away that easily.
Within two minutes after falling behind by 10, Canyon View clawed back, tying the game at 39-39 on 3-pointers from Brett Lewis and Tyler Rowland.
"Canyon View did a lot of good things, they were very aggressive," said Bailey. "We were kind of on our heels a little bit and didn't rebound as well as we should've."
Spanish Fork upped its intensity in the fourth quarter, forcing Canyon View to 3-of-10 shooting down the stretch and just 16 of 46 for the game.
"I thought in that second half Juan Vergara was a presence inside," said Bailey, whose team shot 50 percent for the game (26 of 52). "He did a good job contesting shots and making them shoot difficult shots inside."Bailey said he really enjoys taking his team to the Logan tournament because its set-up helps mimic a state tournament in which teams might have to play three games in three days.
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