By Josh McFadden
While most of us were preparing for Christmas with parties, shopping and relaxing, a couple of local high school boys basketball teams were taking part in a prestigious regional tournament.
Bountiful and Woods Cross have had up-and-down seasons thus far, but both squads held their own at the Takanian Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada. The four-day tournament, named after the legendary UNLV men’s basketball coach, ran from Dec. 20–23. The Braves and Wildcats each went 2-2 in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Davis and Viewmont also saw action back in Utah as both teams wind down their non-league schedule and prepare for region action.
By posted a .500 record in Vegas, the Braves moved to 6-6 on the season. They won games one and four at the tournament.
Bountiful started off with a 65-58 win over Villa Park, California. Issac Kime and Camron Chism were the big stars of the game for the Braves. Kime registered 21 points and hit three three-pointers, while Chism accounted for 17 points of his own. The Braves led by 12 points at halftime and had just enough in the second half to hold off Villa Park.
The following day, Bountiful fell to Dominguez, California, 62-52. Only five Braves got into the scoring column, but Chism had another big day. The sophomore had 33 points and was on fire from deep, hitting seven three-pointers.
On Dec. 22, the Braves matched up with fellow Utah school Timpanogos. Bountiful fell behind 36-28 at halftime and then made a valiant second-half comeback but fell just short. The Braves hit just two of 10 free throws but got a combined 23 points from Chism and Kime.
The Braves concluded their stay at the Tarkanian Classic with a 73-52 rout of Valor Christian, Colorado. Bountiful led by just five at the break but outscored its Colorado opponent 54-38 in the second half. Chism had another stellar performance, tallying 32 points and hitting nine three-pointers. Kime added 14 points, while Henry Smith added nine points.
The Braves have two more non-region games, Jan. 5 against Springville and Jan. 9 against Olympus, before heading into Region 5 action.
The Wildcats were just 1-4 heading into the Tarkanian Classic, but the team found some things that worked in Vegas, picking up wins over Basic, Nevada, on Dec. 20 and over San Bernardino, California, on Dec. 22.
The Wildcats got by Basic 63-49 then edged San Bernardino 69-67 on the strength of an excellent second half. Woods Cross trailed 40-28 at halftime but heated up in the second half by outscoring the California foe 41-27. Mason Cowley paced the Wildcats with 21 points. Teammates Dax Gorringe and Tyler Cowley contributed 18 points and 11 points, respectively.
Woods Cross couldn’t keep up with Knight, California on Dec. 21, falling 60-47 in a low-scoring affair. On the final day of the tournament, Las Vegas High School enjoyed some home-court advantage by knocking off the Wildcats 74-67. Mason Cowley had eight points and 10 rebounds in the loss. Gorringe, Tyler Cowley and Jake Howe had 19 points, 15 points and 11 points, respectively.
Interestingly, the 3-6 Wildcats still have six non-league games remaining before starting their region slate. Woods Cross plays at Clearfield Dec. 29.
The streaking Darts had a quiet week, playing just one game. But Davis made the most of the contest, blitzing Roy 86-50 on Dec. 20. The game was close after the first quarter, with Davis leading 17-12. Roy also outscored the Darts 18-15 in the fourth quarter. It was in quarters two and three where Davis ran away with an easy victory.
Davis outpaced Roy by a combined 54-20 in the second and third quarters in the 36-point win. It was the most one-sided game of the season for Davis.
Plenty of players got on the court and in the books for the Darts. A total of 12 players scored, led by Tyson Garff, who had 25. Garff also had five rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Josh Sanders added 15 points and eight rebounds, and Trey Grossenbach chipped in 12 points and four assists.
Davis is now 8-1 and next hosts Copper Hills on Jan. 2.
The Vikings are also streaking. Unfortunately, they’re going the opposite direction, having lost six in a row since winning their opening two games.
Last week, Viewmont lost to Olympus, 90-59 on Dec. 19, and to Layton, 66-58 on Dec. 20. Chandler Cox and Josh Mordue had 18 points and 16 points, respectively, against Olympus. Spencer Mackay had 20 points and nine rebounds in the loss to Layton.
Leading up to New Year’s Day, Viewmont will take part in the San Diego Tournament Dec. 27–30. The Vikings will then take on three more non-league foes before beginning Region 5 action Jan. 19 against Box Elder.