When Hunter (Erickson) comes back it gives us another option but our guys are really good even though roles are new for everybody. —Timpview coach Kevin Santiago
OREM — Timpview’s top two returning scorers, Adam Santiago, son of head coach Kevin Santiago, and BYU commit Hunter Erickson, were unable to play in the season opener due to injury Tuesday evening against Lehi at Utah Valley University in the UCCU Event Center.
Timpview (1-0) was able to control the second half of the game against Lehi without the T-Birds' top two scorers and hang on for a 43-42 victory over the Pioneers (0-1).
Last year’s leading scorer Erickson is out because of a thumb injury, and Kevin Santiago said he hopes Erickson can be back by the third game of the year against cross-town rival Provo.
“When Hunter comes back it gives us another option but our guys are really good even though roles are new for everybody,” said Santiago. “It’s been sort of an emotional day for us but we got really good guys, young guys though, and we saw the talent that we still have without the two injured guys.”
Second-leading scorer from a year ago Adam Santiago is out for the year with a torn ACL that occurred during an Oct. 30 practice. Santiago was operated on Tuesday morning as the Thunderbirds' team, a head coach and father coped with this devastating injury.
Coach Santiago spoke about the injury to his son Adam, “It was really tough on him, and the only time the doctor could operate was on the day of our first game, which made it really emotional for all of us.”
Lehi headed into halftime with a 22-19 lead, but Timpview was the team that came out more energized in the third quarter, ending the quarter on a 15-5 run to lead by four going to the fourth.
After Pioneers guard Dallin Holker stole the ball and completed a layup to put Lehi up 25-19 with six minutes left in the third, the Thunderbirds began their run. Kelson Jensen had a layup and a three-pointer. Alrek Greenhaugh had a strong effort off the bench in the quarter, completing multiple layups. Nate Hansen’s assist to Jensen for a layup gave Timpview its first lead, 28-27, since the beginning of the game.
Kevin Santiago gave loud praise to Greenhaugh and his spark off the bench, “He’s a tough kid, and he’s our spark off the bench for us as he gets to loose balls, rebounding, and hit a big shot at the end of the first half, and obviously helped our resurgence in the third.”
Greenhaugh finished tied with Jensen as the leading scorer on the night with 11 points coming off the bench.
Ethan Lott finished with seven points, and two of his buckets came as the third quarter wound down with the Thunderbirds up 34-30.
“Our young guys looked so scared in the first half, but, in the second half, you could see they slowed the game down, ran our plays and found some open guys is when they got some confidence flowing,” said Santiago.
Lehi battled back to within one, 43-42, with six seconds left in the game, but a Brenan Hoaldridge three-point attempt rattled off the basket. Hoaldridge started the second half in place of injured starter Kevin Winsor, who went down with a knee injury minutes into the second quarter. Winsor was out for the game after the injury.
The Pioneers went 19 for 29 at the free throw line, while Timpview completed 11 of 14 free throws. Jake Thacker led the Pioneers with 12 points, while Dallin Spencer and Holker scored eight points apiece.
Lehi will play again at 5 p.m. Wednesday against Maple Mountain, while Timpview plays Uintah at 1 p.m. Wednesday.