OGDEN — Slowly but surely, the foundation walls of Ben Lomond High’s new gymnasium complex have gone up over the past few weeks on the school’s campus.
What was once a mashup of concrete, pipes, cranes and dirt is now looking like a discernible building, even for passersby.
This is where the Scots basketball and volleyball teams will play home games next season once the multi-million dollar project is done.
Tuesday night, there was one last rivalry jaunt at the old gymnasium — the same gym where a game was delayed due to a leaky roof earlier this season, and the same gym where a section of the lower bleachers broke and skittered on to the court after a made basket in the fourth quarter of the girls basketball game Tuesday between Ben Lomond and Ogden.
There must be something about that project being announced in the first place that has turned the tide for the Scots girls basketball team at home against their rival Tigers.
The last two seasons, the Scots have beaten Ogden at home after previously going through a 10-game losing streak in the series between 2011-18.
Tuesday night, they made it three in a row.
Ben Lomond put together a 10-0 run over the final minutes of the fourth quarter, then watched Ogden miss a 3-pointer at the buzzer to get a 47-44 win, only the Scots’ second win of the season.
Senior Rachal Cox made the tiebreaking free throw to make it 45-44, then made another late bucket with 28.8 seconds left to give the Scots the final margin.
“It was on them. They decided to step up, shoot their shots and stop them from shooting, and this is how it played out,” coach Chelsye Saulsberry said.
Obviously, the game against Ogden at home is bigger than others because of the rivalry. But there’s just something about the Tigers driving up to 7th and Harrison that makes Ben Lomond win lately.
Exactly what it is, Saulsberry’s not sure.
“Home advantage, you know?” Cox said.
The win was the Scots’ (2-16, 1-9 Region 10) first since Dec. 2 in their season opener against Utah Military Academy-Camp Williams.
They’ve been close in a few games, only to have it get away from them later on.
“It takes a lot of energy. As long as I stay motivated, I believe they’ll stay motivated,” Saulsberry said.
Ben Lomond led 13-11 after the first quarter, then Ogden (7-12, 3-6 Region 10) held the Scots scoreless the first 6 minutes, 32 seconds of the second and took a 22-18 lead at halftime.
The Tigers looked like they would put more cushion on the lead, but Saulsberry credits senior Adrianna Ramos for getting Ben Lomond back into the game.
Ramos came off the bench and scored three baskets in the third quarter and helped tie the game at 28 apiece going into the final frame.
Ogden’s Ashlen White scored 10 points in the first half. Grace Pulley scored eight points with 14 rebounds and three blocks.
Tigers point guard Caitlin Richardson went 3 for 3 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter and scored a game-high 15 points.
Richardson and Ben Lomond’s Hayden Abbott, who co-led the Scots with nine points, traded 3s.
The Tigers took a 44-37 lead and once again looked like they’d take over.
“I was really proud of the team for coming back. Sometimes we get down on ourselves and we can’t get back up. This time we were like, ‘Come on, we’ve got to get back up,’” Cox said.
Abbott and Janessa Coleman scored to cut the lead to 44-41, then Coleman drained a deep 3 in front of the student section with 49.1 seconds left in the game to tie it.
Cox, who scored seven points, went to the free-throw line in a tie game and made both free throws, though one was waved off due to a lane violation.
Ogden’s next possession came up empty and Cox scored underneath the next trip down for the Scots, putting the Tigers under pressure when they got the ball back, pressure that was ultimately too much.
Both teams are long since out of the region title picture, but the Tigers owned the No. 18 spot in the most recent UHSAA RPI rankings Tuesday morning that determine seeding for the state basketball tournament.
A ranking of 16 or higher means a home playoff game come tournament time, a prospect that just got slimmer.