The opposition’s chance to win the game hung on a miracle as the inbound pass flew the length of the court. The Springville Red Devils would seize a trip to the state semifinals when the ball came down if only they could snare it.
Springville 48, Kearns 45
» Springville advances to the Class 4A state semifinals with upset over Roy
» Rhett Clark finishes with 13 points and five rebounds to lead the Red Devils
» Roy star Brekkott Chapman missed his second straight game for violating team rules
The buzzer signaled the start of the celebration Wednesday. Players sprang from the Red Devils’ bench and sighs of relief whispered through the Huntsman Center.
No. 2-seeded Springville grabbed just enough rebounds and hung on down the stretch to upset top-seeded Roy 48-45, putting the Red Devils one win away from a chance to play for the Class 4A state title.
"We knew rebounds would be huge this game," said Springville forward Rhett Clark, who finished with 13 points and 5 of his team’s 34 rebounds. "We’ve outrebounded about every team this year. So we knew with [Roy star forward Brekkott] Chapman being out, we’d have a good opportunity to go in and grab some rebounds. So we got some extra points, some second shots."
Chapman, who missed his second straight game for violating team rules, put his hands on his head and his shoulders drooped at the final buzzer. Would the forward, who many consider to be the state’s best recruit, have changed the game if he’d played?
Changed it, yes. The Red Devils readily admitted that. But change the outcome? Maybe not.
"He takes a lot of pressure of their team because you have to guard him and he’s a huge threat," Clark said. "It really affects your offense because you can’t get up shots in the paint as much."
But Springville coach Chris Kitchen added this: "We liked our chances with him."
The Red Devils outrebounded the Royals and scored as many points as them in the paint with Chapman sitting on the bench. Roy had no one to turn to when Springville snagged a late lead. The Red Devils hit free throws and stifled the potential comeback, despite a few hiccups.
"We know we’re a great team," Clark said. "All year we’ve preached great defense. ... It’s kind of frustrating when you don’t play well at the end, but you’ve just got to hit your pitches."
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