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Boys’ basketball: Springville beats Maple Mountain to tighten up Region 8 title race

First Published      Last Updated Feb 14 2017 10:39 pm

Springville • The Springville boys basketball team slammed the door shut with defense and made enough offensive plays down the stretch to upset Maple Mountain 46-44 Tuesday in front of a rocking house packed to the rafters.

Both teams worked hard defensively to limit scoring throughout the evening, but players from both squads also missed easy shots they normally make with the anxieties of a big game.

Red Devil senior center Andrew Slack, who scored a game-high 21 points, said he just tried to stay focused.

"When the ball isn't going down, I still have to keep doing what I'm doing," Slack explained. "I was getting good looks and I know sometimes they won't go in. I don't change anything."



Despite what was on the line, Slack added that the team approached the game like any other.

"We knew this was a big one, but they're all big," he said. "Having a good game means starting with good practices, and we were able to have those this week."

Slack's teammates kept passing the ball to him in the paint. He got plenty of resistance from the Golden Eagles, sometimes even a triple team, and if he couldn't get a shot up, he'd try to find somebody open elsewhere.

"Andrew's a workhorse and a crucial part of what we do," said senior guard Josh Elison, who scored 10 points. "When we can get the ball down low, good things happen for us."

Slack called Elison the team's sparkplug, and his energy contributed to that as much as his ball-handling skills. However, he drew his fourth foul with 3:10 left in the third quarter and had to go to the bench.

Once he returned to the floor, he hit a key 3-pointer that put Springville in front with 5:30 to play and made another basket, plus a couple of steals in the closing minutes.

"His presence on the floor is huge," Slack said. "He spreads out the defense and pulls them out. He can drive and hit those jumpers. When he's on the same side as me in the corner, they have to respect him, so that helps me to get some open chances."

"We're excited," said Springville coach Justin Snell. "It's been our goal all season to be playing our best ball at this point and we finally feel like we're there."

Springville moves to to 9-1 in league play and 15-5 overall, while Maple Mountain is 15-6 overall and 10-1 in league play. If the Devils can win their remaining two league games and the Eagles prevail over their final opponent, the teams will share the Region 8 title and seeding into the state tournament will be decided by a coin toss.

Maple Mountain senior Tyler Boyack added 14 points to an excellent floor game to lead his team.

 

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