West Jordan • It’s hard to label a region game in January as a "must-win," but Jordan’s visit Friday to West Jordan was as close as it gets — for both Region 3 teams.
The host Jaguars used a stifling interior defense and timely baskets from Brent Beales and Spencer Nisson to beat Jordan 48-36 and avoid an 0-3 start in league play.
Boys’ basketball West Jordan 48,Jordan 36
O Brent Beales (17 points) and Spencer Nisson (16) dominate the interior for West Jordan.
» Jordan scores just three points in the second quarter, then misses 11 consecutive shots in the second half.
"We were in a slump the past few games," said Nisson, who scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half. "I feel like we will be a little more confident after tonight. It gives us a little bit of life."
West Jordan (8-8, 1-2) employed a mix of zone defenses early, then used its height advantage in man-to-man to push the Beetdiggers (8-8, 0-3) farther and farther from the basket.
Jordan hurt itself with a slew of turnovers — including five traveling violations in the second quarter — and went long periods without a basket in each half. The Beetdiggers, who lost their fourth in a row, missed eight consecutive shots before halftime and managed just three points in the second quarter.
They went nearly 10 minutes without a basket in the second half as West Jordan jumped ahead by double figures and never was threatened again.
"With only a 10-game season, it’s a sprint — every game is pretty big — and we had gotten off to a rough start," said West Jordan coach Scott Briggs, whose team snapped a four-game losing streak. "We’ll take the win, but we don’t think we were great tonight. It’s nice to be on the winning side of the scoreboard despite the mistakes we made."
Beales, a 6-foot-6 center, had three inches on his tallest defender, and used that advantage to score a game-high 17 points — 12 in the paint.
Twenty-four of Jordan’s points came via the 3-pointer, and the Beetdiggers made just five baskets inside the arc.
"Our defensive idea is that we keep them on the outside and shoot hard shots with a hand in their face," Nisson said. "If we defend and rebound, we win possessions, and our offense gets better and we rally from there."
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