Sandy • The referees gathered together in the key to discuss the foul.
Was East’s Parker Van Dyke shooting when his arm was hit?
“Shooting for sure,” East coach Skip Lowe chimed in with a joke from the other side of the court. “He doesn’t pass.”
But on an afternoon when East’s Utah-bound star nearly was unstoppable, scoring a career-best 41 points in a win over American Fork, the Leopards again showed they are a team of more than just one.
“A lot of guys on our team made so many open shots in the beginning, it opened things up for everyone,” Van Dyke said. “I was able to drive and get in the lane, and people weren’t helping off as much. It was a good team effort.”
A day earlier, when Van Dyke matched Utah State signee Jalen Moore point for point with 22, it was the rest of the Leopards who pushed their team to a blowout win over Sky View.
It was more of the same Friday night, as Connor Pardoe and Mitch Grant both dropped 15 points for East. The Leopards were hot from outside, hitting 10 3-pointers in an 85-74 win over the Cavemen. East (8-1) will play in the semifinals of the Jordan Holiday Tournament on Saturday night.
“It’s been really fun to see how guys have figured out what they can do,” Lowe said about his team. “It’s not the same thing every night. We’ve got guys with different skill sets, and we play to those. And different guys are helping us every night.”
American Fork (7-3) looked to get its 6-foot-10 junior center, Ryan Andrus, involved early. He scored his team’s first five points and got East’s starting center, Peter Barrus, in early foul trouble.
But then the biggest man on the court mostly disappeared for the rest of the half.
Van Dyke, meanwhile, had no trouble slashing to the rim for easy layups and went on a 10-2 run by himself at one point. The Leopards took a 45-25 lead into the locker room.
The Cavemen came out with much more energy after the break.
With Andrus and 6-8 forward Tyler Rawson guarding inbounds passes and helping in the full-court press, the Cavemen pressured East into turnovers that led to fast-break points the other way.
After Andrus missed a free throw in the third, Brendan Bailey grabbed the offensive rebound and sank a jumper. Rawson then stole the ensuing inbounds pass and scored again to cut East’s lead to single digits.
Andrus and Rawson finished with 26 and 16 respectively.
Jordan Holiday Tournament schedule
Semifinals at Jordan
5:15 p.m. • Juan Diego vs. East
7 p.m. • Jordan vs. Murray
Final at Jordan
5:30 p.m. • Semifinal winners