SANDY — In a game that featured 13 lead changes and nine ties, Jordan felt a bit fortunate there wasn’t one more lead change.
Trailing by two with 4.7 seconds remaining, visiting Skyridge drew up a great play to go the length of the floor and get a good shot, but despite catching Jordan slightly off-guard the final 3-pointer bounced off the side of the rim as Jordan held on for the 55-53 victory.
Dyson Koehler put Jordan ahead with two free throws with 4.7 seconds remaining, finishing the game with 17 points as the ‘Diggers improved to 7-5 this preseason.
All but three of Jordan’s games have been decided by single digits this season, and coach Trace Bevell was pleased to see his team grind out another win against a quality team on Friday.
“Proud of our guys how hard they battled. Every game for us is going to be a battle, our region is a good region and every team is good, so it’s just going to be a fight every night and I hope we’re prepared for that,” said Bevell, whose team has one more preseason game before Region 7 play tips next Friday.
For Skyridge, dropping its second straight game with region play around the corner wasn’t ideal, but with leading scorer Trevon Snoddy sitting out because of a concussion sustained in Wednesday’s game the Falcons showed great resilience nearly pulling out the win.
In Snoddy’s absence, Duncan Reid stepped up and had a big game scoring 22 points and nailing five 3-pointers, while Braden Allfrey added 13 points.
Even if Snoddy had played, Bevell liked his team’s chances because of the effort his players consistently give on the defensive end of the floor.
“Defense travels, defense wins games. I think we’re a pretty good defensive team and that will help us in region play,” said Bevell.
Midway through the fourth quarter and Jordan clinging to a 48-47 lead, Koehler came up with a big defensive stop blocking a lay-up attempt from Skyridge’s Luke Brower. The defense denied Skyridge on the next two possessions as well, but Jordan couldn’t extend the lead much as it missed the front end of two 1-and-1s in the final three minutes.
The misses opened the door for Skyridge as Reid tied the game 50-50 on his fifth 3-pointer of the game with 1:45 remaining.
Jordan’s Kelton Allen answered back with his own 3-pointer pushing the lead back to 53-50.Comment on this story
“We need other guys to step up and tonight we got a couple big shots from one kid who’s been struggling, Kelton Allen. He’s had a hard time making shots this year, but he stepped up and made two big ones,” said Bevell.
Skyridge had its own unsung hero step up and drain a 3-pointer as Allfrey answered Allen’s trey with one of his own leveling the score 53-53 with 1:02 remaining.
Jordan elected to play for the final shot, which ultimately came from the free-throw line on Koehler’s pressure free throws.