Orem • Be the aggressor. That was the challenge the Sky View coaches set before their players, forward Andrew Dean said.

“Instead of having to sit back and adjust to them,” he said, “make them adjust to us.”

Sky View used that mentality to grab a first-quarter lead and rode it to a 63-48 victory over Payson in the Class 4A boys’ basketball state quarterfinals Thursday at Utah Valley University.

Sky View jumped to a 16-point advantage in the first quarter, and Bobcats coach Kirk Hillyard credited his team’s rebounding.

“Andrew Dean has nine rebounds in the first quarter, and he finished well,” Hillyard said. “He just took care of everything inside for us.”

Dean, who finished the night with 14 points and 17 rebounds, wasn’t the tallest on the court, but he attacked the boards like the defensive end/tackle that he is during football season.

Sky View held Payson to just four points in the first quarter.

’They like to drive to the basket, they like to get to the hole,” Sky View guard Cole Smith said about Payson. “They were tall, especially 23, Hagen [Wright] was pretty tall, but we just got a body on them, were physical and we studied their plays well. We help-sided on defense, and we communicated very well.”

The Lions began a comeback in the second quarter, which they opened with an 8-0 run. They cut Sky View’s lead to 10 points by halftime.

In the end, Sky View found that it needed needed Dean’s increase in offensive production — he scored 11 points in the first half alone — as Payson’s box-and-1 defense kept Bobcats scoring leader Mason Falslev from hitting a basket in the first half.

Falslev went back to his scoring ways in the second half, and Cole Smith knocked down three more 3-pointers to help the Bobcats maintain their lead. Falslev and Smith finished the game with 14 points apiece.

Sky View will face Salem Hills in the Friday’s 5:50 p.m. state semifinal.

“They’re really athletic,” Hillyard said about the Skyhawks. “They had some guys step up today for them. I like our size. We’ve got some size-advantage on them, and I think a little bit of quickness, but it’ll be a fun matchup.”


• Sky View earns a trip to the state semifinals, where it will face Salem Hills.

• Andrew Dean logs a double-double (14 points, 17 rebounds) for Sky View.

• Payson’s Logan Sorensen scores 12 points and grabs 12 rebounds.