OGDEN - Backed by more than a thousand fans, including some 500 kids from Bonneville Elementary School, the Ben Lomond Scots came up with a tremendous effort against Region 9 champion Snow Canyon, but fell just short of a trip to the state 3-A semifinals after falling to the Warriors 67-66 in overtime on Thursday at the Dee Events Center.
The Scots overcame a 15-point first-half deficit and even had a five point lead with less than two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, but couldn't quite hang on against the much bigger Warriors.
Missed free throws at unfortunate times as well as a significant rebounding disparity ultimately doomed the Scots. They hit 21-of-32 foul shots, but missed two in the final minute of regulation and two more in overtime. The Scots were also outrebounded 34-23 and gave up 16 offensive rebounds to the Warriors, including six by Snow Canyon center Nathan Gottfredson.
With 3.9 seconds remaining in overtime, Snow Canyon's Chandler Gines missed the front end of a one-and-one, but the Warriors grabbed the rebound, preventing the Scots from getting one final opportunity to win it.
Sterling Brandley scored 22 points and dished out six assists to lead Ben Lomond, while Josh Hardin added 16, including three 3-pointers in the first half. Without Hardin's first half shooting, the Scots would have surely been out of it by halftime.
"He made some big shots in the first half to keep us in it," Ben Lomond coach Ryan Wilcox said. "He's a gamer. He and Sterling are both excellent players, all-state caliber players. They make big shots when big shots are needed."
Down 30-15 just two minutes into the second quarter, the Scots slowly clawed their way back into the game. They got to within five points by halftime and then outscored Snow Canyon by eight in the third to take a three-point lead into the fourth quarter.
"These kids have a no-quit attitude," Wilcox said. "You get down 15 and a lot of teams fold, but we battled our way back and took the lead."
In overtime, Snow Canyon hit only one shot, but it was a biggie - a 3-pointer from sophomore Jacob Frei with 31 seconds left. It came, of course, after another offensive rebound by the Warriors.
"Their big kid (Gottfredson) is an excellent player," Wilcox said. "As soon as the shot goes up, he's an animal going after the rebounds. They got that (3-pointer) off an offensive rebound and kick-out. What do you do?"
Frei led Snow Canyon with 20 points, including six 3-pointers. Andy Atencio - on his birthday - came off the bench to score 11 points for Ben Lomond, while teammate Sage Eastburn added 10. Trey Scott also had a nice game with seven points.
With the loss, Ben Lomond falls into the consolation bracket and will face Judge Memorial today at 4:10 p.m. The Warriors will battle Bear River in the first semifinal game on Friday.