West Jordan • As Riverton’s Richie Saunders took over in a tight fourth quarter, Silverwolves coach Skyler Wilson said he looked over at one of his assistants in amazement.
“I told the coach on the bench, ‘Can you believe he’s a sophomore?’” Wilson said. “He doesn’t play like it. He plays like a stud is what he does.”
The 6-foot-4 sophomore scored 16 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to lead Riverton to a 60-51 road victory over West Jordan as the Silverwolves stayed unbeaten in Region 3.
West Jordan star Sinai Enoch had given the Jaguars a 47-44 lead with 5 minutes 12 seconds to go.
That’s when Saunders took over. The sophomore star scored eight straight points to turn that deficit into a 52-47 Riverton lead, and the visitors were never in trouble after that.
“The lid just came off the basket,” Saunders said. “We played really good together.”
Asked if this was his best game of the season, the sophomore didn’t hesitate to be critical of his game.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “My percentage wasn’t very good. But we got the win. That’s all that matters.”
The game certainly didn’t start well for Riverton.
Enoch, who finished with 21 points, came out on fire as West Jordan went out to a 12-1 lead and forced Wilson to call two quick timeouts.
But there was no sense of panic.
“We got a big response from our guys,” Wilson said. “I called two timeouts, but I didn’t have to yell. The kids take it personally. They scrapped out of it. We took a charge and got a couple of loose balls. It’s not sexy, but that’s our team.”
Ben Nelson, who finished with 11 for Riverton, led the comeback as the Silverwolves went on a 12-0 run of their own to take the lead. A physical and rugged game could have gone either way until Saunders’ fourth-quarter heroics.
“He is skilled and knows when to attack,” Wilson said about his star sophomore. “The guys do a great job of not standing around and just letting him do it. He was unbelievable.”
Saunders is certainly a player worth watching for the next three years.
RIVERTON 60, WEST JORDAN 51
• Riverton sophomore Richie Saunders scores 16 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to break open a close game.
• Sinai Enoch leads West Jordan with 21 points.
• The win keeps Riverton undefeated in region play.