Credit East High a little. At least the Leopards weren’t victim of another 30-point blowout by powerful Bountiful in a boys’ basketball game Friday night.
In fact, Bountiful coach Mike Maxwell felt compelled to reinsert his starting lineup with 1:14 left in what would end up being a 66-52 victory.
But that just may be bad news in the long run for the rest of Region 6 and maybe all of Class 4A in general, because Maxwell was none too happy about a 25-point lead going down to 13 in the late-going.
“It was good until I put my subs in. They got a thrashing in there. Sometimes they get a little complacent, and I don’t want that any place on our team,” Maxwell said. “If we’ve got a nice lead, we’ve got to go out there and take care of things.”
Aside from the end, though, Bountiful (11-1, 3-0 Region 6) had little difficulty in earning a road victory at East (7-4, 1-2). And the Braves extended the lead gradually with clinically cool precision.
Bountiful led by four after one quarter, having scored the last four points of the period. At half, the lead was 11 for the Braves, and by the end of the third, Bountiful had pushed the score to 49-27.
Until their team was composed entirely of substitutes, with three minutes left in the contest, the Braves had committed only four turnovers — all on offensive fouls.
“I don’t think there’s a weak link out there [for Bountiful],” said East High coach Skip Lowe, whose team got 19 points from Mitch Grant and 14 by Dacian Spotted Elk. “You look around and try to figure out what you can take away. You take one thing away and they just go to another option.”
Braves senior Sam Merrill tallied eight points for the victors, and the guard dished out seven assists and had four steals. Three of those steals came in the second quarter and resulted in baskets during a 10-3 run to start the period.
Junior center Jeff Pollard led Bountiful with 22 points, and teammate Zach Seljaas added 14.
“The main guy we focused on for them was Grant, and I thought we did a pretty good job. For the most part, I felt like we dominated the game,” Pollard said. “After he [Maxwell] kind of put in our JV squad, they made a couple of errors, so he put us back in to make sure.”
O Bountiful junior Jeff Pollard leads all scorers with 22 points and also grabs seven rebounds.
• In a 10-3 run to start the second quarter, Bountiful senior Sam Merrill nabs three steals.