Sometimes, being a top seed isn’t easy.
Mountain Crest realized this bit of news on Monday, which turned into a more-difficult-than-expected 44-37 win over Hillcrest in the first round of the state 4A boys basketball tournament at the Maverik Center.
With many envisioning a talented and athletic bunch of Mustangs rolling into Wednesday’s quarterfinal matchup with Provo, the Huskies had other ideas.
“We learned a lot today,” Mountain Crest shooting guard Tyler Crosbie said. “It’s a state tournament. Every game is tough, and every team is going to play its best game. So we have to be ready. We’re happy with the win, and happy to move on. But we aren’t happy with our performance.”
It was Crosbie who made the biggest shots of the day for the Mustangs. First, he canned a 3-pointer from the left wing to give Mountain Crest a 38-35 advantage with under three minutes remaining. Then he drained a pair of free-throws to supply his team with a 40-35 lead.
The Mustangs, who have now won six consecutive games, finished with a 9-2 run, getting defensive stops when they needed and converting offensively around and through a tough Hillcrest zone.
Crosbie and Faim Laulu-Pututau scored 13 points each for the Mustangs. Eddy Hall added seven points, eight rebounds and five assists for Mountain Crest.
Hillcrest gets 11 points from Tanner Dastrup
Mountain Crest ends the game on a 9-2 run
The Mustangs advance to the Class 4A quarterfinals