Holladay • After being saddled with foul trouble in West Jordan’s past two games — both losses — Brent Beales showed just how valuable he is to the Jaguars attack.
The senior center scored 24 points and helped the Jaguars fend off a late Judge Memorial run, 59-53, during the Utah Autism Holiday Classic on Friday night.
"(Beales) played really hard tonight, which was nice," West Jordan coach Scott Briggs coach. "Sometimes kids get into foul trouble and they play a little tentative. Brent didn’t. Brent was aggressive, but was still able to stay on the floor. Obviously, we don’t win if he’s not out there."
Frustrated over his past two games, Beales was happy to make a difference. "I felt it was my time to step it up," he said. "I just needed to be there for the team tonight."
After a 19-19 tie at the end of the first period, the Jaguars became the aggressors in the second period, which proved to be the difference in the game. The Bulldogs only managed three points — an impressive "and-1" on a dunk by Kaden Elliss — during that time span.
"Fortunately for me, I didn’t see that play because I was turned around and talking to one of my guys. I just heard everybody freak out, so I’m probably glad I didn’t see that," said Briggs, who praised his guys for not allowing the dunk to shift their momentum.
The Bulldogs came alive in the fourth, but it seemed that no matter what they did, the Jaguars — Beales in particularly—had an answer.
"The fourth quarter, there was no secret to it, our guys just made plays. (Judge) made a lot of big shots and really pushed us, but I was glad to see our guys makes some plays and not play afraid. (We) played to win."
As West Jordan gets closer to league play, a game like this gives them plenty of confidence.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.