Ogden • Amid the screams and laughs and smiles, a Logan High School assistant looked at Grizzlies coach Logan Brown and made a joke.
"When’s the next play-in game," he asked.
A week ago, Logan had to win not one, but two play-in games just to have the opportunity to walk onto the court at Weber State to continue its season.
The Grizzlies defeated Box Elder last Thursday. They moved past Provo last Friday. Since then, it’s been nothing but victories for a Grizzlies group that had the world against it.
It continued in the Class 4A quarterfinals Thursday when Logan dispatched Parker Van Dyke and the East Leopards 66-62 in the Dee Events to continue its Cinderella postseason run.
"Keep going," said Logan senior Luke Falk, who scored 11 consecutive points in the fourth quarter. "Keep rolling."
Backs to the wall? That’s the way the Grizzlies want to play.
Despite trailing 50-39 going into the fourth quarter, Van Dyke and the Leopards clawed back. The University of Utah commit who scored a game-high 20 points slashed and slowly cut away at the Logan lead. East senior Mitch Grant drained a 3-pointer that gave the Leopards a 54-53 lead with 3 minutes, 30 seconds remaining.
But Falk responded, putting his Grizzlies on his back. He responded with a three-point play and didn’t stop there. His post moves were as crisp as his nerves, as the senior swished all five of his fourth-quarter free throws.
"He’s a gamer," Logan coach Logan Brown said. "He’s the type of guy who wants the ball in his hands at the end."
With Van Dyke and the Leopards staying within striking range, Logan did exactly what it has done in the last week: remained calm, cool and collected — characteristics that carried it into the Class 4A semifinals against rival Mountain Crest on Friday.
"At the end of the season, we’re struggling to get into the tournament, and now we’re almost to the state championship," said sophomore Tyler Brimhall, who finished with a team-high 19 points, including 4-of-5 shooting from behind the arc.
The Grizzlies carry more momentum into Friday’s semifinals than any other team in 4A. They’ve played in four games in the last week and they’ve won four games. Brown credits the team’s arduous region as well as the entire season, in which the Grizzlies have had more than a handful of close finishes.
"It was the flip of the coin," he said. "We could win one or lose one. We’re starting to see the benefits of being in those situations."
With the continued support of the howling and hollering Logan student section and the players and the coaches, the Grizzlies believe.
"We’ve had to play a lot of games in a week," Brown said, "but these kids, for a while, have had to respond to the fact that if they lose, they’re done. We’re still in that situation."
But one game away from the championship.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.