WEST VALLEY CITY Sometimes basketball can be a pretty easy game, like it was Friday night for Wasatch's boys basketball team in the 3A semifinals.
The Wasps knocked down 11 3-pointers, three each from Brennan Hallows, Taylor Woodruff and Mike Pelo, in a dominating 55-40 victory over Logan at the E Center.
"I think this is pretty close to the best shooting night ever for us," said Pelo, who led all scorers with 16 points. "We really haven't played that good as a team for a long time."
That was definitely not the case Friday night. The Wasps knocked down four 3s in the first quarter, three more in both the second and third quarters and one more for good measure in the fourth quarter. They ended up making 11-of-20 3-pointers and finished the game shooting 48 percent from the field.
Ironically enough, Wasatch coach Lonnie Magnusson had a hunch his team might have a big game from long range.
"We knew we'd get open looks from what we've watched and seen," he said. "The night before Cedar had a ton of open looks they just couldn't make them, and I was worried we wouldn't make them either."
Hallows helped set the tone early by knocking down an early trey, and then Pelo followed suit with two more, putting Wasatch ahead 11-7. The 3s kept falling throughout the opening half, upping Wasatch's lead to 17-9, 23-14 and 28-16. The Wasps took a 32-16 lead with them into the locker room at the half, and eventually upped it to a game-high 22 points midway through the fourth quarter.
"The guys just came out and felt good about their chances," said Magnusson.
Wasatch advances to face Judge in today's championship at the E Center at 7:30 p.m.
Wasatch did more than just shoot the lights out. It forced 20 turnovers, limited Logan to 39 percent shooting and flustered a Grizzlies' inside game that was so effective in a quarterfinal win over Cedar.
The Wasps even took a few charges, which had Magnusson grinning after the game. "We've been working all year to get our guys to suck it up and take a charge, and it finally paid off," he said.
The highlight of the night wasn't a 3-pointer though. Early in the fourth quarter, Pelo stole the ball at midcourt and threw an around the back pass to a streaking Devin King who hammered it down.
"Normally if I was thinking in my right mind I wouldn't have passed that, but tonight I did and I'm glad I did," said Pelo.In the loss, Zach Skabelund finished with 12 points for the Grizzlies, while McDade chipped in with 10.
Top performer: Mike Pelo not only made three 3-pointers, but he scored a game-high 16 points as well.
Key stat: The Wasps made 11 3-pointers compared to just two for Logan.Up next: Championship, Wasatch vs. Judge, tonight, 7:30 p.m.