Ogden • In the bowels of the Dee Events Center, Sky View coach Kirk Hillyard wrapped his arms around Jalen Moore, lifted his star three inches off the ground and furiously patted him on the back.
“Two more,” Hillyard told Moore, a 6-foot-8 guard who is headed to Utah State next season. Both remember the Class 4A playoff disappointments of the last two seasons. Both came into the current postseason run determined to reverse the trend.
That’s what made Thursday’s 62-57 quarterfinal win over Olympus special to both. It wasn’t dominant like Tuesday’s romp over Timpview. There were times when it looked like the Bobcats would be headed home with another deflating defeat. But when crunch time came, Moore and his teammates took it up another notch.
Sky View advances to Friday’s semifinal.
“Everyone just stepped up their games,” Moore said. “They did what they needed to do in order to win. And that’s what you have to do at this stage. You have to survive. We did that tonight.”
Moore scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half. He scored eight in the final quarter and added five rebounds and four assists.
But for Sky View, Thursday may be marked by the contributions from Moore’s supporting cast. Shooting guard Ty Nielsen scored a game-high 26 points and added five rebounds. Matt Dewey, a 6-5 senior forward, went 5 for 5 from the field on his way to 11 points.
With the game tied at 52-52, it was Dewey who corkscrewed his way into the lane for the layup for a Bobcats lead. The score sparked a 6-0 run, supplying the Bobcats with a 58-52 lead they never would relinquish.
It was enough to offset a 20-point performance from Titans guard Alec Monson. Coulson Hardy had 19 as Olympus consistently pressured the Bobcats.
“Everyone was big for us today,” Hillyard said. “This is what high school basketball is all about. We had a great crowd. This is as big a crowd as we’ve ever had at one of the state tournament games. We hung in there and we were able to win it at the end.”