PAYSON — Big-time players rise up in big moments, and that's what Payson's Logan Sorensen did on Tuesday in his team's 67-60 win over visiting Lehi.
Overall, the senior 6-foot-5 guard tallied 38 points, but more importantly scored late and seemingly every time the Lions were in need of halting a run by the Pioneers.
"Logan is a great player, and I thought he made some great decisions down the stretch to seal it for us," said Payson coach Anthony Mitchell. "He has a high basketball IQ, and that's what we've grown used to with him. He certainly was on top of his game tonight."
Payson's overall defensive effort was also on point during a key stretch from the end of the first quarter into the better part of the second. It's an effort emphasized by Mitchell, with each player's backside part of the uniform emblazoned with the word Defense, which each player largely backed up during the stretch.
"We had a quick and active lineup in there," said Mitchell, whose team turned an 11-9 deficit into a 26-12 lead with just under four minutes remaining in the second quarter. "We were fortunate they missed some open looks, sure, but overall it was just a good combination out on the floor for us at that time."
Key in the stretch was the play of Sorensen, who scored 10 of his team's 12 points during a key 12-2 run.
Lehi battled back, however, and closed the lead to 29-18 at the half.
The course of the game changed in the third quarter with both teams pushing the action, although Payson led throughout and entered the final eight minutes up 49-41. From there, Lehi installed a furious trapping defense that gave Payson some fits and was key in cutting the Lions' lead to just 55-54 with just over four minutes remaining.
"We knew they were coming with that, but it still seemed to take us by surprise a bit," Mitchell said. "Fortunately we settled down. It took us a bit longer than I would have hoped, but we started to make some good decisions and get the ball to the right place."
The right place was largely in the hands of Sorensen, who managed to score in a variety of ways in securing the win. In the fourth quarter, Sorensen scored 12 of his team's 14 points, including four straight foul shots down the stretch to seal the win.1 comment on this story
With the win, Payson improves to 10-6 overall and 4-1 in Region 10 play. Lehi falls to 9-8 overall and 3-3 in Region 10 play with the loss.
"This was a big game for us and we knew it was a game that would sort of separate either of us into that upper tier in the region. So we're very happy to get this one," Anthony Mitchell said.
Next up for Payson is a game at Orem, while Lehi will look to rebound as it takes on Spanish Fork at home.