WEST VALLEY — "Oh, I knew it. I felt it," Jaden Rasmussen said as he reflected on his game-winning 3-point shot in the first round of the 4A boys state tournament, played Monday night at the Maverik Center.
"It's unbelievable," said Rasmussen. "I've dreamed about it for all my life."
Things seemed bleak for Herriman as the Mustangs turned the ball over with 15 seconds left to play, just moments after Logan had taken a two-point lead with Johnny Luke's impressive drive and layup.
However, Logan made a critical error of its own and turned the ball back over to Herriman with six seconds on the clock. Tueni Lupeamanu received the inbounds pass and quickly found Rasmussen on the wing for the biggest shot in Herriman history.
Moments later, the Mustangs were celebrating their first-ever playoff victory while Logan's team and fans could only stand in stunned silence after Herriman's 56-55 victory. Rasmussen ended with a game-high 15 points, including a total of three 3-point shots.
"We don't want to be a team that just makes it to the state tournament. We want to be a team that comes in and does damage," said Herriman coach Brad Tingey
The game was a back-and-forth affair all night long as neither team was able to find any separation.
Logan held a two-point lead after the first quarter and again as the two teams headed into the locker room at the half.
Tingey told his team to "just keep playing," reminding them that they had been down at the half many times before this season and they just had to stick to their game.
Herriman responded at the start of the second half with a run sparked by a 3-pointer and a 3-point play, in succession, by Brady Beard, who finished with 13 points.
Logan promptly erased the Mustangs' lead with seven straight points, highlighted by Luke's steal and no-look pass down the court for an easy layup.
The fourth quarter was a similar story, except this time the Grizzlies jumped out to an early lead and Herriman battled back. In fact, it was Rasmussen who hit a 3-pointer with 1:20 left to tie the game.
From that point on Luke scored twice, including the aforementioned layup, while Tanner McKissick kept Herriman alive with a baseline runner.
Luke led the Grizzlies with 13 points while McKissick contributed 12 of his own for Herriman.
Next, the Mustangs will square off with the Bountiful Braves on Wednesday at 2:15. Bountiful is the first seed out of Region 6 and is coming off a dominating victory over Timpview in the first round.