WASHINGTON TERRACE — Over the past couple years, Bonneville High’s boys basketball team has made a habit of winning games with defense, which produces scorelines of, say, 45-43, that don’t pique the interest of the casual fan but that get the job done for the Lakers’ purposes.
For a night at least, Bonneville complemented its customary airtight defense with an offense good enough to go way deep into its bench early in the fourth quarter.
The seeds of Bonneville’s 63-21 win against Ben Lomond on Wednesday night, though, were still sowed by a defense that didn’t allow points until 4:42 left in the first quarter and gave up 11 points in the final three quarters.
Bonneville takes the win over Ben Lomond in Tuesday night's game on Dec. 11, 2019, at Bonneville High School. The final score was 63-21.
“I think it’s the things that we talk about every single day. We talk about making sure that any time we’re on the floor we have good energy, that we’re very enthusiastic, we try and always bring a little bit of toughness. This is an extremely tough group of kids,” Lakers head coach Kyle Bullinger said.
The Lakers controlled the rebounding battle particularly well, another reason for the scoring margin. The mathematical impacts of rebounding are simple but nuanced.
If a team pulls down just two extra rebounds in a game, that’s ostensibly two more possessions for that team, two less for the other team and a possible point swing of 4-12 points.
Considering how many basketball games are decided by single digits, that’s part of what Tanoka Beard is trying to hammer home to his players in his first year as Ben Lomond head coach: grab rebounds.
Bonneville got going in the first half because it pulled down just about every defensive rebound possible, limited the Scots on the offensive glass and got out on the break.
Luke Dixon hit his first two 3-pointers of the game for a 12-3 lead and force a Ben Lomond timeout. Sometimes the other thing that helps a team struggling to score is to just see the ball go down a couple times early on.
“The last couple games we haven’t had much confidence I don’t think. And we came into this game knowing that we could make shots, put them in and we had a lot of confidence, shooting-wise,” Dixon said.
Tyler Hancock, playing his second game since breaking his foot in football season, scored the next two baskets and finished the game with six points and four rebounds.
From there, the rout was on. Jordan Citte scored seven of the Lakers’ 11 points in the second quarter and they led 29-14 at halftime. Citte led the Lakers with 11 points. Chance Redd had 10 off the bench.
Dixon, who ended with nine points, dropped in another 3 in a third quarter that saw Bonneville outscore the Scots 19-4 and up its lead to 48-18.
The third quarter has been a spot of bother for Bonneville this year, being outscored 17-2 Tuesday at Weber, 7-6 last week against Logan and 13-7 last week against Clearfield.
“The first three minutes of the third quarter (in those three games), we didn’t come out with the right mindset and we dug ourselves a hole,” Bullinger said. “Against really good teams it’s hard to come back from that, so a big credit goes to our players to understanding how important that third quarter was for us.”
Bullinger pulled his starters early in the fourth quarter and Bonneville limited BL to just three points in the final frame.