West Valley City • Before the game, the Skyline boys’ basketball team was warned: Playing at Maverik Center, the Eagles might be in for a less-than-beautiful contest.
They listened to how the bigger arena would change the atmosphere, how the backboards had an odd way of affecting shooting. But the Eagles were still a bit surprised by how ugly the game was.
“It went a little more roughly [than we expected],” junior guard Garrett England said. “But we pulled it out, that’s what matters.”
Skyline shot only 32.5 percent from the field, but played solid defense and stayed composed down the stretch to earn a 38-31 win over Sky View in the first round of the Class 4A boys’ basketball tournament Monday afternoon at Maverik Center.
With the game tied at 31 in the fourth quarter, Skyline held possession and scored the final seven points to get the victory.
“These are games of survival more than anything,” coach Derek Bunting said. “The teams that defend well will survive, and that’s what we did.”
The Eagles were most successful on the defensive end, holding Sky View stars Jalen Moore and Casey Oliverson to 12 combined points on 3-of-18 from the field. No one on the Bobcats scored more than six.
On the other end, three Skyline players scored in double digits, led by England who scored 13 points and went 3-for-5 from 3-point range. DeSean Miller and Scott Anderson each had 10 points.
The most valuable thing the Eagles did was hold onto the ball. Skyline outrebounded Sky View 33-25, despite a significant size advantage for the Bobcats, and managed to slow down the game with long possessions. Even at the end, Sky View couldn’t keep the ball as the Eagles forced turnovers and got to the line.
Skyline guts out a first-round win
• The Eagles score the final seven points of the game
• Garrett England leads Skyline with 13 points, including three 3-pointers
• No one on Sky View scores more than six points