OGDEN — It’s not likely Ogden’s victory Tuesday over Ben Lomond will play a large factor in the Region 11 basketball standings or move the Tigers into postseason contention, but don’t tell first-year coach Brock Randall the win was insignificant.
In front of a raucous home crowd, Randall’s Tigers clawed their way to a 61-52 triumph over the Scots to earn their first league victory of the season.
“I’m not 100 percent sure that I can explain (the significance of the win),” Randall said. “I’ve been a part a part of some amazing victories, but I don’t know if I’ve ever had one that meant more than that right there.
“The staff and the team has really stuck with the process even when it didn’t look like, maybe, things were going to turn out. I’ve never had a group of players that have been this committed in this situation and continue to push. When you start 0-6, teams can cash it in. Our practice yesterday was as good as any practice we’ve had all year and I really love my guys.”
The contest was back and forth over the first two quarters. While the Scots weren’t shooting it well — and, in fact, ended the game well below 30 percent from the field and in the teens from 3 — they were able to pound the offensive boards to come up with extra attempts.
Titus Hughes led the way for Ben Lomond (6-10, 1-6 Region 11) in the early going with 11 points as the Scots took a 24-23 lead into the break.
Ogden (4-12, 1-6) seemed to come out of the locker room with extra energy, repeatedly beating Ben Lomond down the court for transition layups. The defense also picked up, holding Hughes scoreless for the final period-and-a-half.
Behind a pair of buckets by Stephon Watson and Hughes, the Scots opened up a 28-24 advantage in the opening moments of the second half. But Ben Lomond missed 10 of its next 11 shots to contribute to an 11-2 Ogden run and the Tigers went up 37-30.
The Scots pulled to within four points at 54-50 on a pair of Watson free throws in the final two minutes, but Ogden’s Isaiah Coria scored the final seven Tiger points, including a 5-of-6 performance at the line, to close the game.
“Game plans are good until the ball goes in the air,” Randall said. “We had some things that the staff had been wanting to work through but, really, the guys just went out and made some plays. The guys felt like they had an opportunity to go and win a game.”
For Ben Lomond, Hughes finished the night with 15 points and teammate Garet Rentmeister added 10. Watson and Carlos Aguirre each scored nine.
Ogden was pace by a game-high 21 points from Austin Richards. Coria dropped in 15, while Bo DeVries and Colin Knowles had 12 and 11, respectively.