Ogden • Weber High forward Austin Tesch pushed the ball up the floor, speeding past defenders until it was just him and the basket.
Earlier in the game, his efforts to get above the rim had backfired, bouncing off the iron and earning heckles of "You can’t dunk" from the West High student section.
Tesch quieted those critics with a two-handed flush, part of a 16-0 Weber run over the end of the third and start of the fourth quarters en route to a 68-39 Warrior victory Monday.
"You can’t be worried about going up," said Tesch, a junior who finished with 12 points in the first-round Class 5A matchup. "You’ve got to go up with confidence. I think before, we all had the jitters. We all just wanted to jump out of the gym."
The Warriors as a whole were nervous to start the game. Seniors Garret Becky and Jordan Jones had some state tournament experience. Leading scorer Hayden Schenck only had played in one quarter of a playoff game before going down with a torn ACL last season.
"It’s definitely a milestone," Schenck said about returning to the tournament. "There was a lot of emotion before the game. I was really excited."
Weber jumped out to an early lead despite a somewhat sloppy performance. The Panthers’ Sunday Owda used his quickness to get to the basket for eight points, and guard Denzel Latu hit a trio of 3-pointers to keep West hanging around.
But West struggled to make shots, finishing just 12 of 55 from floor.
Weber found its stride in the second half, thanks in part to the play of Schenck. The Warriors’ leading scorer dropped 13 of his 17 points after halftime. Schenck also had nine assists in the contest.
"I told him to shoot it," Weber coach Mark Larsen said. "He definitely tries to get guys the ball. I told him you just have to pull up. You get that deep in transition and you just have to shoot it."
Weber’s Jaren McKnight scored 15 points in the blowout win.
The Warriors next face Alta in a quarterfinal matchup Wednesday.
"It’s going to be a grinder," Schenck said.
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