Forwards Robbie Stratton, Nic Binks, and center Ben Aird combined for 20 rebounds while the entire Cyprus team had only 15. Bountiful also had a lot of success off inbound plays to their freshman center Aird, who finished with a team-leading 17 points. It seemed every time Cyprus made a push the Braves would answer with a great entry pass to Aird who would then finish the play with a turn-around bank shot or hook.
In the first half the Braves' guards did a great job of distributing the ball to the Bountiful big men. Guard Anthony Hewlitt used no-look passes to get the ball to the open man; he finished with a team- leading six assists to go along with his eight points and two steals.
"Were always trying to get it down low to Ben; if someone is open underneath I'm going to pass before I shoot," said Hewlitt.
Bountiful jumped out to an early 22-13 lead thanks to team scoring and two three pointers from Junior Josh Taylor. Taylor, who made some adjustments on his shot over the weekend, had one of his best games offensively scoring 16 points on 60 percent shooting.
"What helped tonight was Nic Banks was kicking the ball out to me for a couple of three pointers. It really helps out when the big guys can hit you for the open shot," said Taylor.
Fellow back court partner Dane Nelson also chipped in with some very tough perimeter defense. However, it was the smoking hot shooting of Cyprus Guard Aaron England that kept the Pirates in the game. His three pointer before the half cut Bountiful's lead to only four points, 30-26.
Early in the third quarter Cyprus cut the lead to three points on another long three pointer by Cyprus' England. The Braves switched their defense to a box and one and started to deny England the ball. Cyprus had a hard time adjusting and Bountiful was finally able to extend their lead to 40-32 after a Taylor steal and lay up.
The fourth quarter continued to be a dog fight for the Braves as Cyprus refused to go down quietly. A Cyprus three pointer cut the lead to five points with only two minutes remaining. A tough rebound and put back by Aird gave Bountiful a seven-point lead, 52-45 that they never relinquished. A defensive stop on the next Cyprus possession and the game was all but over. Cyprus was forced to foul. Bountiful made their final free throws and escaped with the victory.
"Tonight's win was a step in the right direction. It helps us get back to where we want to be in region," said senior guard Dane Nelson.
For the first time in Region play Bountiful played up to some of their enormous potential. With his team being so young Coach Maxwell hopes that Tuesday's victory will help his team gain some much needed confidence and is the start to learning how to win games.
"Our team is learning to win before we can really begin excelling. We need to learn to walk before we can run. I have a very young team. I'm playing with mostly 16-year-olds and it shows. We had only three wins in the preseason and we started off region play with two of the best teams in state. We're trying to string together two wins in a row."