OREM — Four of the Beehive State's top boys basketball programs played host to top out-of-state teams Thursday in the Great Western Shootout, with Utah powerhouse West Jordan leading off against Canyon Springs from Las Vegas, and the Jaguars led off with a home run by thumping the Pioneers 74-53.
The game was never close, with the Jaguars jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead with 3-point baskets by Jordan Pryor and Seth Barrus. They came out of the first quarter with a 17-9 lead despite only two late points from star player and University of Utah commit Jordan Loveridge.
Loveridge showed up big in the second quarter, however, helping fuel a 20-3 run with two 3-point buckets and a monster dunk. The Jaguars went on to take a 43-19 lead into intermission paced by Pryor's 14 points at the half.
"The kids were really excited to play tonight and I think that showed with how we came out," said West Jordan coach Scott Briggs. "We knew that we'd have the opportunity to compete against not only some of the top in-state teams, but some great teams from out-of-state, and I was very happy with how our team came out and showed against a very good and athletic Canyon Springs team."
The third quarter was much of the same as West Jordan built its lead to 59-29. With the game well in hand entering the final eight minutes, Briggs chose to sit most of his starting players for almost the entire fourth quarter.
"We hit some shots early and that really changes the complexion of the game," said Briggs. "As much as you'd like to play solid defense all the time, I swear, when they make baskets they play better defensively, too, so we were fortunate to hit some shots."
Loveridge finished the game with 21 points, which led all scorers with his future head coach Larry Krystkowiak looking on. Jaden Jackson contributed 18 points, with Pryor adding 15 which included three 3-point buckets..
Canyon Springs was led by Gerad Davis, who scored 20 points. West Jordan will take on Davis in tonight's semifinals, with Canyon Springs dropping to the loser's bracket where they'll take on Arizona's Mountain View.