ST. GEORGE -- Ben Lomond's basketball team may not be well-known outside of Ogden, but it's making a name for itself in St. George.
After giving state 3-A tournament favorite Desert Hills a run for its money in the quarterfinal round on Thursday, the Scots played an even better game in the consolation bracket on Friday, beating Delta 59-47 to advance to today's consolation final and a shot at fifth place.
Ben Lomond started strong, but couldn't keep up with Delta's torrid shooting pace and found themselves down 26-18 with 6:23 left in the second quarter. But from that point, the Scots went on a 14-0 run, holding Delta scoreless until the 5:11 mark of the third period.
"We gave up 20 first-quarter points," Ben Lomond coach Ryan Wilcox said. "(The Rabbits) came out and made everything that they shot. But the thing that I was most impressed with is that they only scored 27 the next three quarters combined. We have a mindset that if we can hold teams under a certain amount of points, we're going to be in every game. Win or lose we're going to be in it at the end."
One of the keys to Ben Lomond's success was the insertion of seniors Kody Buck and Fernando Paredes. Buck, in particular, caused problems for Delta. The lefty brought the action to the weak side of the court, scoring 13 points, including 11 in the second half.
"Me and my friend Fernando, our role is to come off the bench and keep the energy alive," Buck said. "It all starts with defense. When you play good defense, it gets you some easy shots. We got some steals and got out in transition. I just tried to cut to the basket and Sterling (Brandley), our point guard, he'll find you if you cut to the hoop and he found me a lot when I was cutting baseline."
But it wasn't only Buck and Paredes who did well. The regulars, Josh Hardin (17 points), Brandley (15 points) and Nate Watkins (six points, rebounding machine) also played their parts with distinction.
"That's one of the things I love about this team is our depth," Wilcox said. "We've got guys coming off the bench that just play good basketball and then there's my other guys who have been doing it game in and game out."
The Scots (17-7) will conclude their tournament run today against Morgan at Dixie High School at 11 a.m.
"At the first of the season, one of our sayings has been that we want to be playing on Saturday and we took care of that tonight," Wilcox said.