OREM This week has been a period that could determine the fate of the Mountain View Bruins boys basketball team this season.
That's because of last Friday's two-point overtime loss to Springville game in which the Bruins did not score in the last several minutes, including overtime that could have sent the team spiraling into another tough season on the heels of their fifth straight loss.
But a players-only meeting Saturday morning helped refocus Mountain View as it beat the Payson Lions 52-46 Wednesday night.
"Friday was a gut-wrench for us," said Mountain View coach Jeff Gardner about his team's response last night. "It was a tough game, but after they responded and played as well as they did, I'm very proud of them."
Unlike in previous games, the Bruins (1-3) kept their composure despite a late comeback from the Lions (1-2).
"It was just missed opportunities," said Payson coach Dan Lunt. "I know we had a 45-second stretch there at the end of the game in that we left nine points on the table that we could of, should of had, but we didn't. That's the difference."
Cameron Schmidt did the job in closing out the game late for Mountain View in hitting 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. He ended up leading the Bruins with 14 points.
Helping out as well was Greg May, who didn't figure prominently until a few minutes were left, when he drove to the basket hard, drawing a foul and hitting the front-end of his free throws to give the Bruins a three-point lead with under two minutes left.
"I'm was real proud of our seniors who stepped up and made free throws that counted, Cameron Schmidt and Greg May," Gardner said.
Payson tied the game at 42-all when Seth Lovell hit a layup with 4:50 left. It culminated a comeback from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter.
Helping the Bruins was a 14-2 run that gave them 40-29 lead. Schmidt and Tanner Young played a huge part in that as they forced the Lions to turn the ball over four times that led to nine Mountain View points.
"Tanner Young had two big defensive plays and two good fast-break layups," Gardner said.
The first half was a struggle as both teams were struggling to find themselves, which led to a 24-24 score at halftime.
Payson had to rely on Lovell double-teamed all night and Steven Clark to carry the load.
Unfortunately, Clark scored six points part of eight total in the first half before foul trouble limited his time.
Lovell led the Lions with a game-high 20 points.