I always thought we could do it, coming out of a tough region and knowing a four seed beats a one seed every year, so I thought we had a chance. —Skyline forward Andrew Clark
OREM — It's tournament time, and with it comes upsets and the always possible prospect of a No. 4 seed beating a No. 1 seed in the first round, at least according to Skyline's Andrew Clark, who helped lead his team in a shocking 67-63 first round upset over No. 1-seeded Timpview on Monday in the first round of the 5A playoffs.
Clark contributed 19 points in the effort, which included 11-of-15 foul shooting, with a lot of those made down the stretch to secure the win.
"I always thought we could do it, coming out of a tough region and knowing a four seed beats a one seed every year, so I thought we had a chance," Clark said of his team which battled in a brutal Region 6 while enduring several significant personnel losses throughout the year.
"Nobody knows all the stuff we've been through," said Skyline coach Kenny James. "We've had suspensions. We've had hurt guys and we had a guy quit the team with three weeks to go — a starter, so we've had to juggle our lineup."
Two of those battling injuries included Clark, along with Hollan Schweitz, who led the Eagles with 23 points scored in the win, which included a 10-10 effort from the line. Schweitz's injury was particularly troublesome, considering it was some form of spinal meningitis.
Things didn't start well for the Eagles, with the heavily-favored T-birds getting off to an early 8-2 lead, and then a 20-10 lead after the first quarter. Many of Timpview's points came off easy looks inside and second-chance opportunities, which James implored his team to stop allowing come the second quarter, to which his players responded.
The Eagles closed out the second quarter with a 13-0 run to enter the half up 37-30.
"We stopped giving up those points in transition, and we started going inside. Our big guys started attacking," James said. "I thought our defense in the second quarter was outstanding."
Timpview came back with a fury in the third quarter, with BYU signee Hunter Erickson leading the way. The senior played more aggressively throughout the quarter, scoring more and pulling down rebounds to help his team close to within 46-45 entering the fourth quarter. His final points of the quarter came off a 3-point play off an alley-oop, as the momentum seemed to swing strongly in his team's direction.
That momentum ultimately gave Timpview the lead back early in the fourth until a lot of fouls called against it helped turn the tide. Erickson himself was whistled for his fifth foul with 3:35 left, and Skyline leading 55-52, something that affected the course of action considerably.
The Eagles enjoyed a 23-11 disparity in the foul count and scored nine of their final 12 points from the line, although several of those free throws came with Timpview intentionally fouling down the stretch.
A lot of those foul shots were made by Clark, with James offering praise for his senior captain for his play in Monday's game, and throughout the season.
"He's been such a rock for us," James said. "He's always hustling. He's a great rebounder and he has a lot of energy. He's been the heart of this team when it comes to that sort of thing. He just does all the dirty work for us."
The win led to a raucous celebration by the Eagles' players, who now have confidence they can make a deep run after knocking off one of the top teams in the state.
"I think we have a good chance. I mean, we just beat a No. 1 seed," Clark said, "and it doesn't get harder than that, so..."