SPRINGVILLE — It wasn't pretty, but Provo stepped up when it had to in securing a 45-41 victory over region rival Springville in a boys basketball slugfest Tuesday night.

It was a game defined by turnovers, and for the Bulldogs a dominant low post defensive effort headlined by the efforts of 6-foot-7 senior forward Jonny Flake. Flake had six blocked shots while altering a bunch of others with his length and his quick hops.

"I thought Jonny played a great game for us," said Provo coach Craig Drury. "He's getting better offensively, but he's someone who enjoys playing defense and swatting away shots best — more than scoring baskets — and you saw how good he can be defensively tonight."

Flake is a late-bloomer, not playing basketball competitively until he was 16 years old. But due to some fast coaching by Drury and others, he's become a defensive force on the low post in quick order.

Flake and the Provo defense set the tone early, holding the Red Devils to just four first-quarter points before taking a 24-20 lead into the half. The Bulldogs extended that lead to 35-28 at the end of the third quarter, but Springville wasn't done.

The fourth quarter saw the Red Devils chip away at Provo's lead before drawing to within two points at 42-40 with 1:02 remaining following a 3-point basket by Bradley Kitchen. With just six seconds remaining and down 44-41, Springville had a chance to tie it up, only to have Parker Brady's 3-point attempt rim out.

Leading the way for the Bulldogs down the stretch were starting guards Adam Finch and Dallin Bosco. The duo combined for all but three of Provo's 21 second-half points.

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"Those are great players there," said Drury. "They're just heady guards and they're winners. When you have guards like that on your team, you know you have a chance to win. They take care of the ball when the game gets ugly and they control what we do so well. We're fortunate to have them."

Bosco led all scorers on the night with 14 while Finch added 11.

Springville was led by Nathan Israelsen and Max Schreiner, who had 10 and nine points, respectively.

With the win, Provo improves to 12-7 on the year while Springville drops to 13-6.

email: bgurney@desnews.com