Prep boys' basketball: East rallies from 22 down to beat Herriman
There were lots of shoulder shrugs, lots of heads shaking as East players and coaches tried to explain what transpired Tuesday night.
That's because the Leopards' 69-68 come-from-behind victory against visiting Herriman defied all logic.
East overcame a 22-point fourth-quarter deficit and scored 38 points over the final eight minutes, largely on the shoulders of its top scorer Parker Van Dyke.
The Utah-bound guard scored 21 of his game-high 37 points in a furious and chaotic final period that helped push the Leopards to 11-2 this season.
"We just needed to come out and play like there was nothing to lose," said Van Dyke, who topped 30 points for the sixth time this season and 11th time in his career. "We needed to do whatever we can to just chip away at the lead, and that's what we did."
East twice put itself in a huge hole with poor shooting. The Leopards opened the game with 13 consecutive misses from the field as Herriman (6-6) built a 19-0 lead.
After cutting the deficit to five at halftime, East delivered a 1-for-12 performance in the third quarter as Herriman extended the lead to 53-31 entering the fourth quarter.
Herriman turned over the ball four times in a six-possession stretch early in the final quarter and East began to draw closer and closer.
"We scrambled around and made plays," East coach Skip Lowe said. "It was just let's chip away at this thing and see what we can do. I think it was 16 [points down] with six to go, and that's when it really seemed possible.
"I was happy with the way we didn't fold early, which would have been real easy to do. Part of it was them [Herriman]. They made great shots and did what they needed to do."
One of Van Dyke's four 3-pointers cut the deficit to single digits at 60-52, and he outscored the Mustangs himself 7-2 over the final 2 minutes, 1 second.
Connor Pardoe also made four 3s for the Leopards, who combined to score nine points in the first and third quarters.
"We were playing laid back in the beginning of the game," Van Dyke said. "Then we shot the passing lanes and got really good ball pressure. That's what we had to do to come back. Now we need to put that into a full game and be a little more disciplined on the defensive side."
Herriman's Francis Bernard, who was charged with trying to defend Van Dyke, tied a career high with 22 points. The Mustangs also got 14 from David Maynard and 13 from Z. Arima.
East 69, Herriman 68
• East outscored Herriman 38-15 in the final quarter to overcome a 22-point deficit.
• The Leopards (11-2) missed their first 13 shots of the game and score just four points in the third quarter.
• Herriman missed four of their final six free throws and turned over the ball 11 times in the second half.