SPRINGVILLE — Springville senior guard Raul Delgado had done some pretty unbelievable things in Tuesday night's non-region home boys basketball game against Lehi, including playing almost the entire second half with four fouls and hitting a jaw-dropping 3-pointer in the final few seconds to cut the Red Devils' deficit to three points.
But he needed one more.
After Lehi missed a pair of free throws, Delgado raced the length of the floor and launched what could've been the tying 3-pointer for Springville from the right corner as time expired, but the ball glanced off the backboard. That meant the Pioneers had held on for the 41-38 victory.
"We knew we needed to focus defensively (on that final play)," Lehi forward Josh Scott said. "It was the best feeling to see that shot miss. It felt great to get that win."
Scott and center Will Walker spearheaded the Pioneers' effort with their performances inside. The two combined for 32 points and 21 rebounds, led by 19 points and 13 boards for Scott.
"Scott's play was big for us," said Lehi head coach Craig Gladwell. "It's not a new situation, since Walker draws so much attention. If Scott can get put-backs and rebounds for us, it will force teams to pay attention to him as well. Those two played very well together in the second half."
"It was a special experience," he said. "I knew I had to battle harder. I came in the game knowing that's what I had to do."
Red Devils coach Chris Kitchen pointed to that "battle harder" mentality as the difference in the game.
"Lehi was tougher than we were," he said. "They got the loose balls, they outrebounded us and they were more physical. That's why we lost."
Both squads played great defense for much of the game, which was tied 25-25 after three quarters. The Pioneers pulled in front, fueled by a 13-3 run midway through the final frame, and built a 40-33 lead in the final minute.
Delgado, who led all scorers with 22 points, refused to concede defeat. He got fouled on a 3-point attempt, making 2-of-3 free throws, and followed it up with an acrobatic trey that bounced in with just under 10 seconds left to set the stage for the exciting final sequence.
It was frustrating for Gladwell, who had to watch his team make just 1-of-6 foul shots as it was trying to seal the win.
"We missed so many when we only needed one more and the game is over," he said.
With the win, Lehi remains undefeated on the year (3-0), a mark that will be tested again tonight when the Pioneers host Kearns.
Springville (2-2) will look to get back on track when it plays at Timpanogos on Dec. 16.