RANDOLPH — The temperatures outside may have been cold, but inside the gym at Rich High School Thursday night there was plenty of fire as the Rebels held on for a 51-47 win against the visiting Bear Lake Bears. A natural rivalry exists between the two schools as they occupy opposite ends of Bear Lake in northern Utah.
The teams split the two contests last season with each school winning at home. As usual, Thursday night’s game was a hard-fought physical game with lots of emotion. The Rebels jumped out to an early 8-0 lead, but a 3-pointer by Derek Weston as the first quarter ended left the Bears only down 12-8.
Bear Lake was fueled early in the second quarter by Kasey Keetch, who tied the game at 14 and then put his team ahead with two more lays-ups. He finished the second quarter with 10 points and was the leading Bear scorer on the night with 14. The Rebels countered with McKay Jarman, who scored 11 points in the quarter and 17 for the game. The halftime scoreboard read 27-26 for Rich.
Neither team could pull away in the third quarter as Rich held a four-point lead entering the final period. Bear Lake center Ryan Gunderson brought his team within a point at 47-46 in the closing minutes. Rich’s Skyler Argyle was fouled as he secured a rebound and went to the free-throw line to shoot one-and-one.
The Rebels, who have struggled from the charity stripe in earlier games this season, were perfect Thursday night, 17-for-17. Arygle’s free throws gave the Rebels a 49-46 lead.
The Bears had several good looks at the basket but couldn’t get a shot to go down. Jessie Price grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled by Jayden Wallentine as he went back up for the shot. It was Wallentine’s fifth foul and sent Price to the free-throw line. His first attempt was off the mark. The second free throw was good and made it a two-point ballgame once again with 14 seconds to go.
The Bears’ full-court pressure was unsuccessful and they were forced to foul Mitch Jarman, who calmly sank both free throws for the 51-47 final. The teams will have a rematch in January in Montpelier.
The Rebels were led by McKay Jarman with 17 points; Wyatt Muirbrook with 11 points; Argyle with 10 points and the leading rebounder with seven; Mitch Jarman with 5; Cache Sabey with 4; Isaac Hopkin with 2; and Wallentine with 2.
The Bears were led by Kasey Keetch with 14 points; Gundersen with 11 points; Weston with 10 points; Jessie Price with 5; Tanner Ipsen with 2; Jaden Crane with 3; and John Knutti with 2.