Salt Lake City • The Woods Cross Wildcats boys’ basketball team traveled to East High on Tuesday to face the Leopards in a Region 6 matchup that proved to be a grudge match for all four quarters.
Both teams were evenly matched throughout, but the game was decided by two separate first-half scoring spurts by the Wildcats as they came away with a 64-57 victory.
Luke Jowers led the Wildcats on the night with 16 points as he started the game with a bang by drilling three first-quarter 3-pointers.
“I’ve been in a slump the last two games and we lost two tough ones to Bountiful and Kearns,” said Jowers. “We came out firing [tonight] and it was just a great win to get back on track because it’s a battle for that region title and then to get back in state contention. It was a great win and a great start for me and I couldn’t be happier with our team.”
Still, despite his hot start, the Leopards kept the game close.
Up by four at the break, the Wildcats scored six unanswered points in the first minute of the second half.
According to Woods Cross coach Kasey Walkenhurst, nothing special was drawn up. “It just happened,” he said. “We’ve been struggling defensively the last couple games, we’ve given up way too many points, so the challenge was made to become a defensive team and this team responded.”
East quickly found themselves down by 10, but their determination never wavered and their defensive pressure kept them in the game.
“Give credit to East,” said Walkenhurst. “They’re well-coached and they play really, really hard. We were up 10 with six minutes left or so and we knew that they would have some type of a run.”
In the end it was a hard-fought win that Walkenhurst and his Wildcats were happy to come away with. “We were just luckily able to make enough plays to pull it out,” he said.
Woods Cross 64, East 57
• East’s Mitch grant leads all scorers with 19 points.
• Woods Cross’ Luke Jowers hits three 3-pointers in the first quarter.
• Woods Cross scores six unanswered points in the opening minute of the second half.