OGDEN Bouncing back from a regular-season ending loss to region rival Pine View, the Snow Canyon Warriors held off a resilient West team 76-54 to advance to the quarterfinals of the 4A State Tournament Tuesday.
For the Warriors, who bowed out in the first round of the 3A tournament the last two years, the 4A tourney was much kinder. Ending the season as Region 9's first-place team, Snow Canyon spent most of the year playing teams down South, and the Warriors wanted to use this game to make a loud introduction to the northern teams.
"Between us and Pine View down South, we kind of have a chip on our shoulders," senior Dalton Groskreutz said. "I hate losing and us not getting past the first-round was more incentive for us to come out and win."
The game, which featured 70 foul shots between both teams, was physical to say the least. The Warriors shot 80 percent from the free throw line in the first-half (68 percent for the game), while the Panthers ended up scoring 26 of their 54 total points from the line.
In the first quarter, Snow Canyon's big man, Seth Weinheimer, scored eight of the Warriors' first 10 points before being pulled due to foul trouble.
"He's intelligent enough that he probably could've played the rest of the half or more, but we decided to play it safe," Snow Canyon head coach James Brown said.
In Weinheimer's absence, Groskreutz was the go-to man for the Warriors. Groskreutz scored 16 first-half points, including seven from the line, to lead Snow Canyon to a 14-point halftime lead.
"It's always nice to have a big man like Seth," Groskreutz said. "If he goes out, though, someone needs to step up."
The Warriors extended their lead to nineteen with a minute and half left in the third quarter, but the Panthers proceeded to score 12 straight points to cut the lead to nine. Kurt Henderson hit a three for Snow Canyon to stop the bleeding and the Warriors took a 12-point lead into the fourth.
West carried the momentum over into the fourth and used a press that cut the Snow Canyon lead to seven with a little over four minutes remaining. The Warriors put a stop to the Panthers drive and dish offense by switching to a zone defense and proceeded to score 12 straight points putting the game out-of-reach.
"We made a good adjustment to just playing how the refs would let us play," Groskreutz said.
"The key was not giving them second shots. We took away the drive. We haven't played a lot of zone this year we're a man-to-man team but it worked for us," Brown said.Groskreutz led Snow Canyon with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Weinheimer added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Tyrell Corbin scored 18 points, while Daniel Wray and Chris Barnes combined for 22 points and16 rebounds for West.
Top performer: Dalton Groskreutz scored 16 points in the first half to give the Warriors a good cushion.
Key stat: Seth Weinheimer scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds in only 15 minutes of work.
Up next: Quarterfinals Snow Canyon vs. Timpview, Thursday 2:20 p.m.