Bountiful was looking for a spark while clinging to a five-point lead at halftime Wednesday. Already down two of their big guys at the start of the game, Jeff Pollard exited with an injury just before halftime.
Enter Zac Seljaas.
Storylines Bountiful 73, Judge 44
» The Braves outscore the Bulldogs by 24 points after halftime.
» Jordan Bleak paces Bountiful with 20 points.
Seljaas, who committed to BYU over the summer, was sick and initially did not suit up for the game. That all changed at the break. Aware that his team was in need of his presence, Seljaas found a practice uniform and came out for the second half.
The results were immediate as just the threat of him threw the Bulldogs out of whack and led to a dominating 73-44 victory for the Braves.
"It’s a guy they had to go defend, and that opened up the lanes," Bountiful coach Mike Maxwell said. "All of a sudden you saw drives to the basket, you saw guys getting by guys and there was nobody in help position because they’re worried about Seljaas."
While Seljaas did not score until the fourth period, Jordan Bleak caught fire, drilling two 3-pointers and finishing numerous fast breaks in the second half. He scored 20 points.
"I just found openings and coach is always preaching to us to get to the rim then the outside shots will come, and that’s what we started to do," Bleak said. "And the shots fell after that."
Seljaas’ surprise participation was not the only thing that caught the Bulldogs off guard.
Judge also appeared befuddled by Bountiful’s change in defensive strategy.
"We changed the defense," Maxwell said about the second half. "We went to a [match 2-3] zone. It’s an interesting zone. It’s a man, it’s a zone, it’s a combination. My guys play it pretty well. They’ve been doing [it] for a long time."
Maxwell stressed to his team to avoid focusing on who was missing from action Wednesday.
"The team is what wins it," Maxwell said. "It’s guys coming off the bench doing what they’re supposed to do and not trying to be heroes — just being solid, and I like that about these guys."
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