OGDEN — The Ben Lomond High student section chanted “Neeko!” as No. 40, Neeko Greenfield, went to the free-throw line after coming off the bench.
When Greenfield made the second of two free throws at the end of Tuesday night’s Ben Lomond-Ogden boys basketball game, the Scots crowd erupted with their loudest cheer of the night.
Students lifted Greenfield on to their shoulders once they started celebrating Ben Lomond’s 62-48 win over the Tigers and loudly sang the school hymn in typical postgame fashion.
Tuesday night’s showdown was the last game between Ben Lomond and Ogden that will be played in the Scots’ old gymnasium, and Ben Lomond sent it out with a bang.
The Scots (6-13, 4-6 Region 10) swept Ogden in a season series for the first time since 2013. They led 10-3 early in the first quarter, went up by double digits and kept it that way the rest of the game.
“I think our guys were ready to play, they know the gravity of this game and so they were ready to go after it. The early lead definitely helped because as we expected, early in the second half, you saw DJ (Frye), you saw Isaiah (Coria) taking more shots, being more aggressive offensively and trying to do the things they were comfortable doing,” Ben Lomond coach Tanoka Beard said.
The Scots led 36-24 at halftime and Ogden (3-15, 1-8 Region 10), perhaps feeling pressure to make up the deficit too quickly, resorted to early shots.
But it was also one of those nights where even the Tigers’ wide-open shots seemed to magnetically swerve away from the basket.
Frye led Ogden with 16 points and Coria scored 13.
Mason Buck led a quartet of double-digit scorers for Ben Lomond with 15 points. Ryan Alvarez added 11 while both Garet Rentmeister and Caleb Alexander scored 10.
“We kept the ball moving really well, and I think our defense was key. We hit them with a lot of different defenses,” Buck said.
The win may also bode well for Ben Lomond’s playoff future.
As of Tuesday morning, the Scots ranked 18th in the UHSAA RPI and the Tigers ranked 19th.
Numbers-wise, both Ben Lomond and Ogden were far behind the No. 16 spot, which would guarantee a home playoff game.
But getting up to 16 would require a lot of help, namely some losing streaks from No. 16 Snow Canyon and No. 17 Canyon View, who have better strength of schedule numbers due to playing in Region 9.
Ben Lomond’s final game in its current gymnasium is Friday against Cedar Valley.