We’re so much better when we get three or four kids in double figures. —South Sevier coach Rhett Parsons
ST. GEORGE — Tyson Chisholm was helpless to do anything.
With the fourth quarter of Friday’s semifinal unfolding out on Burns Arena court, the South Sevier senior sat in the locker room trying to wait patiently while trainers put six stitches in a gash above his right eye he suffered in a collision with teammate Kaetz King on the final play of the third quarter.
Fortunately for Chisholm, he dripped so much blood on the court that it took 10-plus minutes for the Dixie State personnel to clean it up. That extra time allowed him to return to the court for the final few minutes, and he provided a huge spark and a clutch offensive rebound to lead South Sevier past Delta for the 64-58 victory.
“I’m just glad they had to clean up the blood forever or I might not have been able to get back in the game,” said a smiling Chisholm, who also led South Sevier in scoring with 15 points thanks to three 3-pointers.
South Sevier coach Rhett Parsons said that’s the best he’s seen Chisholm shoot all season, which is ironic because his senior didn’t feel in a rhythm at all.
“Not really. I haven’t been feeling good since I’ve down here, but they went in,” said Chisholm.
His back-to-back 3-pointers in the final minute of the third quarter put South Sevier ahead 54-42, but with Chisholm in the locker room getting patched up Delta clawed back into the game.
The Rabbits fought all the way back to 60-58 as Jager Springer hit a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left in the game. They tried to force a turnover over the next 26 seconds with an aggressive half-court trap, but South Sevier protected the ball and Delta was eventually forced to foul with 19 seconds remaining.
King missed the front end of that 1-and-1 with a shot that barely grazed the rim, but Chisholm was there to corral the rebound and kick it out to teammate Brodee Tebbs, who made both free throws to stretch the lead to two possessions.
“I knew I was getting that O board,” said Chisholm, who figured King would probably miss one of the two shots.
“We’re so much better when we get three or four kids in double figures. Caleb is capable of going off for 30 any night, but we’re actually better when he gets his 18 or 20, and everybody else gets 12 to 15,” said Parsons.
The game was tight throughout the first half, but South Sevier hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter to start to pull away.
In the fourth quarter, Springer converted two three-point plays and then knocked down the clutch 3-pointer to trim the lead to 60-58 with under a minute remaining. Springer finished with 12 points, with Derek Smith and Jaymen Brough adding 15 each for Delta.
Even though his team missed some shots that allowed Delta to claw back into the game, Parsons was thrilled how his team played at both ends of the court in the final few minutes.
“The chips were down there with about two minutes left and we kind of buckled down and guarded a little bit, got a couple rebounds and made some free throws,” said Parsons.
South Sevier finished the game making 10 of 26 3-pointers and was great protecting the basketball with just four turnovers.
With the win, the Rams advance to Saturday's 3A championship at 7 p.m.