Roy • The Roy Royals paced confidently off the court, the thrill of the win still dancing off the tongues of those filling the stands. Coach Dan McClure waited at the entrance to the locker room, patting each player as they passed and calling each one by name.
"Great job, Brekkott Chapman," McClure said, the joyous echo rising from the locker room as it filled. "Great job, Chase DeBoer."
O The Royals lead Sky View by two games in Region 5 with five games left.
» Roy doesn’t miss a free throw until late in the fourth quarter, and finishes 14 for 18 from the line.
» Jaxton Andersen’s 27 points account for more than half of the Grizzlies’ total.
The excitement lingered in the air after the Royals’ 60-51 win over Logan on Friday evening. Chapman, widely considered the state’s top player, acknowledged it, as if the grins and the yells and the high-fives weren’t proof enough.
Roy now sits atop a lofty cushion in Region 5 and stands just five games from capturing its first region title since 1994. The year hangs on a banner in the gym, reminding the Royals of the two empty decades that have followed. They point to it in practice when energy runs low.
"From day one, everyone on this team, we all knew we wanted a region title," said Chapman, who finished with 14 points and several key blocks. "We’re gunning for it so we’re going to try to go get it right now. … Tonight’s game was huge. We don’t want to share a region title. We don’t want to have to do none of that."
Logan entered the night two games behind the Royals and could have narrowed the gap with a win. But the Royals overcame a slew of turnovers to widen their lead in the standings. Each time the Grizzlies were on the cusp of snatching momentum with a string of points off the turnovers, the Royals seemed to counter with a 3 that stole back the momentum.
Jaxton Andersen had 27 points for the Grizzlies, but the Royals shadowed star Tyler Brimhall all night, limiting him to just 10. It proved to be just enough for Roy to inch closer toward an achievement it’s been thirsting for for two decades.
"It’s kind of been that we’ve had just ugly wins lately," Chapman said. "We’ve learned to fight through those turnovers. If we could cut down on them we would, but we’ve got to fight through it."
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