ROY — Wednesday looked like it was heading for the same story that’s plagued the Roy boys basketball team the first month-and-a-half of the season.
The Royals would play well early, have a nice lead and then wilt. Against a high-scoring, good-shooting, tough-to-guard Bear River (11-3) team, the game started out in just that fashion.
Roy led 20-9 and 29-16 at points in the second quarter but its halftime lead was 30-28 and, eventually, the Royals trailed by as many as three in the second half.
But instead of panicking, instead of wildly driving into the paint and throwing the ball all over the gym, Roy dug its feet in and didn’t wilt as the Royals (3-7) picked up a vital 74-70 win over the visiting Bears.
With two games left until Region 5 games begin, Roy was in danger of losing confidence before the games really started to matter. Wednesday’s win gives the Royals a boost of confidence.
“One of the things we’ve been focusing on as a coaching staff over the past week is pure discipline on our end, not so much worrying about Bear River,” assistant coach Eric Anderson said.
“We knew who their shooters were ... at the same time we were focusing on what we can do better as a team all the way around discipline-wise. Hitting the defensive glass, trying to keep them off the offensive glass, trying to reduce the turnovers and then shooting better shots.”
Royals head coach Terry Schriver was absent from the bench Wednesday and school personnel declined to comment about his absence. For now, Anderson and fellow assistant coach Jeff Giles are the team’s co-head coaches.
Meanwhile, Roy turned a 12-9 first-quarter lead into 20-9 (helped by BRHS starting 0 for 9 from the field) with an 8-0 run keyed by some inside baskets against an undersized Bears team. The lead eventually ballooned to 29-16 as sophomore guard Kobe Schriver made consecutive layups.
Kobe Schriver led the Royals with 27 points on seven 3-pointers. As a team, Roy went 12 of 23 from downtown.
“In earlier games I’ve tried to get myself going first, this game I tried to get the post going real quick,” Kobe Schriver said. “They’d go in the post and come to me and then I’d get my shot going, and I just had the game come to me first.”
Inevitably, the Bear River team that came into Wednesday’s game shooting 43 percent from 3-point range made its run. First it was Mark Huber with a couple of 3s, then Parker Coombs, then Huber again, then James Fonnesbeck, then Huber again.
What was a 13-point deficit was now a 30-28 Roy lead at the break. Soon after the break, Wyatt Roholt hit looping 3s on three straight possessions and the Bears led 39-38.
But the key was that the Royals responded each time and didn’t let the frustration of a hot-shooting opposing guard get to them. Huber, who led a quartet of double-digit Bears scorers with 27 points on seven 3-pointers, started the fourth quarter with a 3 that made it 57-54.
Two-and-a-half minutes later, Bear River called timeout after Kobe Schriver made consecutive 3-pointers to give Roy a 62-57 lead.
Porter Thackery scored 13 points for Roy, including two vital 3-pointers to match two of BR’s long balls late in the game. Jakob Parkin scored 11 and Robert Snow had 10.
No matter what Bear River did, Roy responded, which was impressive because BR did a lot. The Bears made 17 3-pointers and eventually shot 50 percent from downtown after clanking their first few.
James Fonnesbeck had 16 points, Roholt 14 and Parker Coombs 11 to round out the Bears’ scoring.
It’s not often that non-region wins are important. But with region play approaching fast, Roy needed something good to happen and got it.