For the second time in the last three days, Preston saved its best basketball for the fourth quarter in another crucial district game.
Preston outscored Pocatello 25-15 in the final quarter for a come-from-behind 67-62 victory on Friday night at home. Preston won the fourth quarter by 15 points in Wednesday’s 53-43 triumph over Century.
Pocatello and Century are both ranked in the top 5 in the latest 4A Media Poll and 4A Coaches Poll.
It was sweet revenge for Preston, which lost a 36-32 defensive battle to Poky a couple of weeks ago. Friday’s much-anticipated showdown was tied after the first quarter (15-15) and at the half (29-29) before the visitors took a 47-42 lead into the final eight minutes of play.
“(That was) a wild one, for sure,” Preston head coach Tyler Jones said. “A lot of emotions up and down and back and forth, and a great game tonight between both teams. ... What a game. I thought our kids battled ... and lots of times we could have folded, but they kept fighting and made enough plays down the stretch to get it done.”
Preston scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to pull even at 47-47. The Franklin County Indians (12-6, 2-1) took the lead for good at 51-50 when Brecker Knapp knocked down one of two free throws.
Preston’s advantage ballooned to nine points, 63-54, with less than one minute to go, but Poky (12-5, 1-2) refused to quit. The Gate City Indians went on a 8-1 spurt to pare their deficit to 64-62. The visitors had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds but missed badly on a 3-pointer, and Preston’s Gabe Hammons slammed the door by draining a pair of freebies.
Hammons finished with 12 of his team-high 21 points after halftime for Preston, which got 20 points for Cole Harris — eight in the first quarter. Knapp chipped in with 11 points for the hosts, and Braden Hess added eight.
Ryan Payne poured in a game-high 24 points for Poky.
Harris also shined in Preston’s win against Century as he contributed with 24 points and eight rebounds. Knapp added 12 points and seven boards for Preston, which only committed five turnovers.
“Just a good team win,” Jones said. “... In the first half, Cole had 16 of our 22 points and the second half we got contributions from other people, and that’s what you need to get a win against a team like that. ... Huge win for us.
OTHER REGION 11 GAMES
Sky View increased its winning streak to six by blowing away Mountain Crest at home, 70-38, while Green Canyon rallied late to beat Bear River on the road, 55-49.
The Bobcats (12-3, 5-0) jumped out to a 27-9 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. Sky View led by 20 points at the half and by 39 points after holding the Mustangs (2-13, 0-5) scoreless in the third quarter.
Jackson Schumann and Evan Hall were unstoppable at times down low for the hosts. Schumann scored eight of his game-high 19 points in the first quarter, while Hall netted eight of his 16 points in the third. Taydem Neal chipped in with 13 points for the Bobcats, who had 12 different players score in the game.
“Kids played well,” SV head coach Kirk Hillyard said. “Evan and Jackson played well together and shared the ball. Taydem filled the stat sheet tonight, doing all kinds of good things for our team tonight. Great team win.”
Trevis Leiser came off the bench to lead the Mustangs with 11 points, followed by Garrett Austin with five.
Meanwhile, Green Canyon (9-8, 2-3) trailed essentially the entire game against Bear River (7-8, 1-4). The Bears led by seven points after the first quarter, by 10 at the half and by as many as 12 points in the third quarter.
The Wolves went on a pair of 8-0 runs in a wild third quarter, sandwiched between a 10-0 Bear River surge. Green Canyon took its first lead of the second half at 50-49 on Spencer Maughan’s steal and layup with 1:15 remaining in the final quarter.
Green Canyon ended up closing out the game by scoring 10 unanswered points. The Wolves buried 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch, including the front end of three consecutive one-and-ones.
Jared Anderson scored 10 of his team-best 14 points in the first half for the Wolves, who got 11 points from Jace Blotter, eight from Cade DeBoard and seven apiece from Brady Smith and Maughan.
“Huge credit to Bear River tonight,” GC head coach Dan McClure said. “They were really, really good. Our guys had to battle through a bunch of adversity tonight and I’m proud of how they responded. We had some foul trouble and shot so poorly in the first half, but I was really happy with our resilience.”
PREP GIRLS HOOPS
West Side closed out its regular season by thumping Malad at home, 61-33. The Pirates (7-12, 4-4) outscored the Dragons (2-18, 0-8) in every quarter and limited the visitors to 14 points in the second half.
Kajsia Fuller paced the Pirates with 20 points, followed by Sienna Fuller with 14, Bri Aston with eight and Natalie Lemmon with seven. West Side beat Malad by 31 points earlier this season.
“Great night for my seniors,” WS head coach Bob Sorensen said.