MORGAN Overtime was the last place Morgan wanted to be against Bear River. The Trojans had dropped their last two region games, against Logan and Grantsville, that lasted past regulation time.
Matt Weyland extended that losing streak a little further.
Weyland drained a three-pointer as time expired to lift the Bears to a hard-fought 69-68 victory in double overtime at Morgan High on Wednesday night. It capped off Bear River's incredible rally from a nine-point deficit less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
It never entered into Weyland's mind that the game-winning shot would come from his hands. When Morgan guard Taylor Murdock dropped in a layup to put the Trojans up 68-66 with five seconds left, he just wanted to find a way to extend the game another four minutes.
"I was just trying to get up a shot," the junior forward said.
Weyland had a knack for coming up with one big play after another in the second half when the Bears needed them. He finished with a season high 20 rebounds to go along with 17 points.
Weyland's dominance on the glass reflected an advantage for the team as a whole. Morgan rarely got second chance points, simply because there was always a Bear River player or two right there to snatch the ball away.
"We rebounded really good and we we're hustling a lot," Weyland said. "We weren't giving up."
Even if that meant rallying from nine down. With the score tied at 39-39, Morgan went on a 9-0 run fueled by a couple of quick baskets from Travis Heinrod to take a 48-39 lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
But the Bears answered with a 10-2 run of their own. Weyland gave life to that run with a pair of baskets off offensive rebounds. From there Jake Miller the top scorer in 3A kept Bear River in a position to force overtime by hitting a jumper and four free throws to make it 57-57 in the final minute.
Getting a win in Morgan is never easy especially for other Region 11 teams. The Trojans won five straight region titles from 2001 to 2005 and Bear River knew it would need every shot and every defensive stop it could muster to escape with a precious road victory.
The fact the Bears were able to do so was a result of their own perseverance after a poor shooting first half."They just kept going after it and after it and didn't think about getting tired," said Bear River coach Van Park. "It was a gutsy effort to comeback. It would have been easy to say, 'We blew this one and we'll play them again.' But they had the fortitude to come back and played great defense to get us back into it."