WOODS CROSS — Because of Camron Chism, there is now a cavernous chasm in the standings between Bountiful and the rest of the teams in Region 5 boys basketball.
Chism drove baseline, made a left-handed layup with 2.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and the Braves now have a three-game lead in the league with four to play.
Bountiful remained undefeated in Region 5, winning by a whisker over Woods Cross 52-50 in a classic rivalry matchup Wednesday evening.
(Video credit: Brian Smith)
“I was supposed to come off a screen and draw some defenders, then kick it to my teammates, but they (WX) cheated so I went back door, shot it and finished,” Chism said. “I wasn’t nervous at all; I’ve taken that shot a thousand times so I knew it was going to go in.”
Chism got a chance for the game-winner because Robert Whaley and Brig Willard did the heavy lifting earlier in the game.
Whaley had Bountiful’s (13-7, 6-0 Region 5) only points in the first quarter — nine — before Chism hit a 3-pointer with 10.8 seconds left in the stanza. Whaley had 11 points at the half and finished with a game-high 21.
Woods Cross (12-5, 3-3) then went on a 20-11 run the rest of the half and led 33-23 at the break.
The lead expanded to 37-25 early in the third quarter on a driving layup by Brant Jerman with 5:52 left, but then Willard went wild for the Braves.
Willard scored all nine points of a 9-0 run in a two minute span and suddenly it was a game at 37-34. He scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half.
“We played really well in the first half, but we have to play the game all the way to the end,” Woods Cross coach Jeff Jorgensen said. “We did all the things we wanted to do, but we can’t just rest; we didn’t attack in the second half the way we did in the first half and that gave them the edge they needed to win.”
Bountiful finally caught and passed the Wildcats at 49-47 on a Whaley layup with 2:51 left, and the game was tied twice more before the Braves ran the winning play out of a time out with 9.2 seconds remaining.
“We played a lot of tough road games earlier this year,” Bountiful coach Mike Maxwell said. “You have to win state on the road and you have to win region on the road — we play those games to get ready for this.”
Jerman scored 20 points for Woods Cross, including 7 of 7 from the free-throw line, and Jake Howe also had double digits with 10.
“It looks good at this point but the horses aren’t in the corral yet,” Maxwell said of the Braves’ chances to take the Region 5 crown.