OGDEN – For nearly three quarters, the Bear River Bears stayed right with Delta, and things were looking hopeful for a fifth-place finish in the girls 3-A state basketball consolation championship on Saturday morning at the Dee Events Center.
But once the Bears tied the score at 26-26 with 2:38 remaining in the third period, they finally ran out of gas.
Three games in three days against good competition will do that to you.
In the end, Bear River dropped a 51-38 decision to finish in sixth place. Delta used a 20-6 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to subdue the Bears and end their season on a slightly sour note.
Senior forward Jordan Theurer scored a game-high 16 points and had seven rebounds for the Bears. Kenzi Summers added nine points and seven boards.
Bear River started the game with an early 6-3 lead, but soon fell behind and spent much of the next two quarters trying to catch up. The Rabbits’ lead wasn’t a big one, so it was no surprise that Bear River was finally able to tie the score in the third quarter. But the energy the Bears expended getting to that point was more than they could maintain.
“A big difference in both the first half and the second half is that we missed some shots and they hit a bunch,” Bear River coach Van Park said. “But I was really proud of how the girls battled back against a very good Delta team. It’s exhausting to have to play from behind, especially against a quick team like that.”
Over the last three years, the Bears have improved from a playoff team, to a tournament team to a team playing on final day of the season.
“I’m just so proud of these girls,” Park said. “At midseason when we were 2-10 or whatever, if you had asked most of the people that followed us if we were even going to have a chance to be down here at the tournament, they would have said, ‘No way.’ But these girls came together and learned to play together and became a good basketball team. It’s a great tribute to these seniors and the whole team on what they accomplished.”
Bear River, the Region 11 runners-up, concludes the year with a 13-12 mark.