WEST JORDAN For three quarters, Jordan vexed West Jordan with its ability to knock down seemingly any shot from the perimeter. In the final quarter, the Jaguars finally turned the tables on the Beetdiggers.
West Jordan reined in Jordan's outside shooters, holding the Beetdiggers without a field goal in the final 6 1/2 minutes to secure a 59-49 victory in its home gym Thursday night.
Jordan missed its final nine shots from the field, allowing the Jaguars to breathe easier after they nearly blew a double-digit lead. Until the final six minutes, Jordan converted nearly 50 percent of its 3-point shot attempts.
For West Jordan, getting a victory came down to two simple tasks: pressure the perimeter and control the boards.
"We just knew we'd have to defend and rebound going down the stretch to win against this team," Jaguars coach Scott Briggs said.
Though a bit undersized, West Jordan easily controlled the glass behind the efforts of Jordan Weirick and Rayes Gallegos. Gallegos, who led all scorers with 20 points, finished with 11 rebounds. Weirick added nine.
West Jordan's game-changing 20-3 run spanning the second and third quarters put the Jaguars in control.
Trailing 21-15, Tanner Connors started the Jaguar rally with a series of big plays. Connors knocked down a 3-pointer to cut Jordan's lead to three. Connors then blocked a shot attempt by Larry Miller and found Gallegos for a layup to make it 21-20.
Gallegos then gave West Jordan a 25-23 lead with 1:18 left in the half on a 3-pointer from the corner. He capped off the run with a two-handed slam which made it 35-24 just over a minute into the third quarter.
"It kind of put the spark into our offense again," Gallegos said of the 20-3 run.
Briggs credited the offense's second quarter revival to a more active defensive effort from his team. Once they began contesting shots and battling for boards, it opened up the offense.
From that point forward, it became only a matter of time before a little offensive spark grew into a roaring fire.
"We're a team of streaks right now," Briggs said. "We go through lulls. But then we have those little moments that work out for us."
Jordan put together a nice streak of its own to get back into the game. After the Jaguars went up 46-36 on another 3-pointer from Gallegos, Evan Mero and Preston Richards buried 3-point shots within 38 seconds of one another to eat into the lead.Miller then added another 3-pointer at the 6:32 mark in the fourth and Mero drained a pair of free throws a minute later to make it 49-47.
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