It has been 56 years since the Orem boys’ basketball team won a state championship.
The Tigers earned a date with Olympus in the class 4A title game, and a chance to end that drought, by knocking off the Bountiful Braves, 44-36.
“We’ve got one more,” Orem senior guard Josh Pollard said. “We can’t get too high off this win. It’s a big win, but we’ve still got one more to take it all.”
Going into the semifinal game, Orem had three players averaging at least 11.5 points per game, and Pollard was not one of them. None of the Tigers’ big three scored in double digits against the Braves, but Pollard stepped up and assumed that role.
Pollard led the team with 13 points on just four field goal attempts, and grabbed 11 rebounds. Orem head coach Golden Holt said Pollard deserved to have that kind of a game.
“He was terrific. He does whatever it takes to help the team win and he doesn’t always get the spotlight. Tonight he was big and he did get the spotlight,” Holt said. “That senior leader really showed himself tonight.”
Excluding Pollard, it was a poor shooting display by both teams. Orem and Bountiful each shot less than 32 percent from the field. The difference was the Tigers’ ability to get to the free-throw line all game long. Orem made 26 free-throws in the game, which accounted for more than half of their points. By comparison, the Braves made only four foul shots.
Holt said winning this game was huge.
However, “I told the boys we would win a state championship this year after our 7-15 season last year. I’ve been calling it all year,” Holt said. “But this one doesn’t mean much if we don’t win the one tomorrow.”
R Orem senior guard Josh Pollard records a double-double, posting 13 points and 11 rebounds.