WASHINGTON TERRACE -- It may not quite fall in the rivalry category just yet, but if Bonneville and Ben Lomond continue to play as competitively as they did Wednesday afternoon, it just might.
Playing each other to start the boys basketball season for the third consecutive year, Bonneville fought off a furious fourth-quarter rally to defeat visiting Ben Lomond 54-47 and earn its third straight victory in the series.
"It just happens to be that we each trade a home and home," Bonneville coach Jason Finder said. "So next year I'll play at his place, probably first game, and we always just play before Thanksgiving."
Trailing 42-35 to start the fourth quarter, Ben Lomond went on a quick 8-0 run to jump ahead 43-42. Bonneville didn't make its first field goal of the quarter until the 3:23 mark, but it was a huge one - a triple by senior Justin Porter to put the Lakers on top 47-44. Bonneville made just two field goals in the quarter, but made seven of eight free throws to get the victory.
Overall for the game, Bonneville shot 31.6 percent from the field and just 19.2 percent from beyond the arc.
"We missed a lot of open shots," Finder said. "We missed a lot of layups. First game jitters, kind of. But I thought overall our boys closed the game out and they played with composure in the end because Ben Lomond made a run and they have some good shooters as well."
Bonneville also responded to two other significant runs by Ben Lomond to keep the game from getting out of hand. The Scots opened the contest on a 9-2 run, but the Lakers battled back to eventually claim a 15-14 lead midway through the second quarter.
Ben Lomond, trailing 29-26 midway through the third quarter, then went on another surge -- this time a 7-0 run to take a four-point lead. But once again, Bonneville responded. The Lakers scored the next nine points to move in front 38-33.
"It's constant learning," Finder said of his team's ability to battle through the adversity. "And what it is is just slowing down a little bit and understanding time and score and the situation of the game. You always teach that as a coach. Time and score. Time and situation."
Bonneville senior Jace Packard, who finished the game with a double-double (17 points, 14 rebounds), was instrumental in both runs while senior Tyler Heaton also made his presence known with 15 points and six rebounds.
Junior Corbin Medina scored 14 points to lead Ben Lomond, which shot just marginally better than Bonneville at 36.0 percent.
"We competed with them and held our own and battled with them," Ben Lomond head coach Ryan Wilcox said. "And I think that's the main thing (to learn. If we can be fundamental and compete with other teams, I think we'll be just fine this year."