SYRACUSE — Both teams rode the red-hot hand on an ice-cold night.
In the end, neither team melted down, but Syracuse made one more key basket in the closing seconds to grasp a 59-57 victory over the visiting Viewmont Vikings on Wednesday evening.
Diante Mitchell bounced in a 15-foot jumper off the left angle with 2.9 ticks left on the clock to seal the come-back win for the Titans.
“I got a good ball screen coming down the court; we practice that a lot, getting a shot in rhythm,” Mitchell said. “Their big guy took away the drive, so I stepped back on him and it was a bit short, but rolled in. I’m glad the game was at home; our rims are more forgiving.”
“We had a play called before they made their free throw,” said Syracuse coach Justin Nelson. “We practice a lot for those situations. We want to catch the defense in transition, run our splits and get our shooters in position. We got Diante the ball, set a pick and he made a play.”
Mitchell finished with 25 points, 17 at the break, then went scoreless until late in the fourth quarter, when he scored eight of Syracuse’s last 10 points, including a pair of free throws to give the Titans a 57-56 lead with 42.2 seconds remaining.
When Mitchell cooled down in the third period, Josh Herfel came off the bench to score nine of his 15 points on a trio of 3-pointers, which gave Syracuse a 44-38 lead heading into the final stanza, after trailing the entire first half.
“They switched to a zone to take away our penetration and we did a good job kicking it out and our kids made shots,” Nelson said. “We needed that because we have to be a team; no one can do it by themselves.”
Jarom Tye caught fire for Viewmont in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 of his 21 points, before Mitchell sank the Vikings with the last-second jumper.
Tye also led both teams with seven rebounds, while the McKay boys, Butler and Johnson scored 11 and 10 points, respectively for the Vikings.
Michael Phelps splashed in eight points for the Titans, as did Daniel Pehrson and Syracuse improved to 7-3 on the pre-season, while Viewmont slipped to 5-6 with the loss.
• ROY 63, TAYLORSVILLE 46: At Taylorsville, the Royals knocked down seven 3-pointers and won a road game with strong second quarter.
Brekkott Chapman scored 25 points. Jesse Wayment tallied 11 points and David Hadley and Chase DeBoer each had nine points.
Sidney Freeman scored 16 for the Warriors.
In other non-league games, Bountiful edged Olympus 62-56, Logan topped Park City 72-61, and Sky View beat Highland, Idaho, 51-40.
• MORGAN 70, BEN LOMOND 58: At Ogden, the Trojans earned a road victory, building an 11-point halftime edge.
Morgan had 16 more free throw attempts, going 17 of 22 for the night. Jake Miles led Morgan with 19 points while Cameron Skinner added 16 points and seven boards.
Ben Lomond was led by Sterling Brandley who scored 22 points. Josh Hardin added a dozen points, while Brenden Morris chipped in with eight.
• BEAR RIVER 65, OGDEN 55: At Garland, Ogden managed just 16 first-half points but pushed the host Bears to the final gun.
Down 28-16, the Tigers kept firing away, led by Spencer Smith who scord 34 points, with six 3-pointers. Dayton Wright added 13 points.
Wade Miller tallied 23 points, with three 3-pointers, and added five assists and five boards. Landon Cornwall added nine points and six boards for the Bears, while Nick Hillis also had nine points.
• VIEWMONT 51, NORTHRIDGE 36: the Knights found themselves within four points late in the game but had to foul as Viewmont stalled out the clock.
Kaitlyn Larsen led the Vikings with 20 points, while Katie Toole added 11.
Sydnee Accord scored 23 points despite being saddled with foule trouble. Jenna Stoker added four points and pulled down 16 rebounds.
• SKY VIEW 83, WEBER 64: At Pleasant View, the Warriors invited the high-scoring Bobcats to town, but waited a quarter to start playing.
Sky View outscored Weber 30-7 in the first period. Lindsey Jensen scored 27 points, knocking down seven 3-pointers.
Tara Goldman added 21 points for Sky View, while Kendra Falslev added a dozen points.
Weber’s Erin Reichle scored 26 points in the loss. Hannah Charlton added 14 points.