Richfield • On a night of brothers and siblings, Panguitch had much to celebrate Saturday.
About 90 minutes after the Bobcats girls’ team won a state championship, the Panguitch boys’ squad earned a 53-43 victory over rival Bryce Valley to win its second straight Class 1A boys’ basketball crown.
Barney brothers Clint and Curtis coach the boys’ and girls’ teams. Jace Eyre plays for the boys and sister Karlee Eyre for the girls.
So what happens when the two teams ride into the town of more than 1,500 folks with two gold trophies?
The fire truck will wake up everyone in town.
“They might have to bring out the ambulance, too,” quipped one fan.
“Don’t know,” deadpanned another. “Never happened before.”
Well it’s happened now.
In a battle of attrition between longtime cross-Garfield County rivals, Panguitch had just a little bit too much height for Bryce Valley as the 6-foot-5 senior Eyre and 6-3 Acey Orton gained revenge for a four-point loss to the Mustangs in the Region 20 tournament.
An 8-0 run in the middle of the fourth quarter doomed Bryce Valley.
As has been the case all season, Orton and Eyre led the way. Orton, a junior, scored 16 points, and the senior Eyre added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Eyre praised the girls and especially his sister but added: “You can’t let them show you up.”
Clint Barney, whose daughter Mataya plays for brother Curtis, almost had to chuckle about the back-to-back titles on the same floor.
“Talking about having pressure,” he joked. “You step out on the floor after your brother who coaches your daughter wins. And her dad gets to be the second act. There is no pressure or anything.”
He had nothing but praise for Bryce Valley and its coach, Gary Syrett. The Mustangs were led by Austyn Brinkerhoff, who survived a nasty dive into the risers to finish with 17 points.
“That Bryce Valley team is undersized and every kid handles the ball well,” Clint Barney said. “Every kid handles the ball well. They are tenacious. And coach Syrett is a classy guy.”
On this night though, it was time for the Bobcats to celebrate their double win.
“There is going to be an awesome party in Panguitch,” Clint Barney said. “I know that.”
PANGUITCH 53, BRYCE VALLEY 43
• Acey Orton scores 16 points and Jace Eyre adds 13 and 10 rebounds to help Panguitch defend its Class 1A boys’ basketball title.
• It’s a two-for for brothers Clint — the boys’ coach — and Curtis — the girls’ coach — who saw their Panguitch teams win back-to-back titles on the same floor.
• Austyn Brinkerhoff finishes a fine career for Bryce Valley by leading all scorers with 17 points.