4A boys' basketball: Mountain Crest ousts Maple Mountain (with video)
Ogden • Eddy Hall remembers the feeling of three years ago.
He was a skinny freshman then, sitting on the bench with Tyler Crosbie as the Mustangs made a run to the Class 4A state title game. Hall remembered thinking their time would come. They would get their chance to lead their own team to glory.
Three years later, Hall appears to be right. Mountain Crest dominated Maple Mountain 57-40 on Tuesday afternoon in the first round of the Class 4A tournament. And the top half of the field has been turned on its ear with defending champion Orem being upset by Logan earlier in the day.
That's a good thing for the Mustangs. Mountain Crest has as good a chance as any to make a deep run.
"It's something that we want," Hall said. "Today we came into the game thinking that we wanted to play great defense and let the rest fall in place. We challenged shooters, we shared the ball and we made plays when we needed them."
When the Mustangs needed to make runs, they did. When they needed stops, they got them. Mountain Crest dominated the rebounding battle, winning 40-26. Faimafil Laulu-Pututau a BYU football commit scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Hall ran the point beautifully, handing out seven assists, grabbing four rebounds and nabbing three steals. The senior controlled the game without scoring a point.
As a result, the Mustangs lost the lead a mere two times. They led by as many as 24 points and didn't trail after the midway mark of the first quarter.
For a team that's lost just once this season with a full and healthy lineup, Mountain Crest sent a strong message that it's a team with as good a chance as any to come away with the state title trophy Saturday afternoon.
"I think the guys are focused," Mustangs coach Gordon Buchmiller said. "We wanted to pound the ball inside and try to get baskets in the paint. I think we were successful at that."