Syracuse Green Canyon Basketball

Green Canyon’s Jared Andersen drives to the basket as Syracuse’s Kane King (5) defends Tuesday in North Logan.

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NORTH LOGAN --- A less-than-ideal first half wasn't enough to deter the Wolves from opening the Logan Brown era with a gratifying win over a 6A program.

Green Canyon fell behind by 11 points at halftime and trailed by eight midway through the third quarter, but methodically rallied its way to a 71-62 overtime victory over Syracuse in a non-region boys basketball game on Tuesday night. It was the season opener for both teams.

"It's an amazing feeling because of the way we had to do it," said Brown, who spent the previous 11 seasons as the head coach at Logan High. "I thought we responded to adversity, we responded to not playing our best ball in the first half, to just chipping away. And it's not like we did anything amazing, it's not like we made a 10-point run. We just chipped away at it and, ultimately, our kids did a great job of making the mental adjustment at halftime and realizing we have to play together a little bit better on offense, and be a little more sound on defense. I'm proud of them."

The Wolves only scored 22 points in the opening half, but rebounded the ball better and got to the rim better on their way to 20 third-quarter points. Green Canyon pared its deficit to four points on a couple of occasions in the quarter and only trailed by six heading into fourth quarter.

The Titans went on a modest 5-0 run early in the fourth quarter to built their lead back up to eights points, but the Wolves immediately bounced back with a 6-0 spurt, highlighted by an and-one opportunity by Tanner Tye and a 3-pointer by Brady Smith.

Green Canyon never trailed by more than three points the rest of the way, and finally knotted the score up for the first time in the second half courtesy of an offensive rebound and scoop shot in the lane by Dallas Day with 2:49 remaining in regulation.

Syracuse appeared to be content to hold for the final shot, but Green Canyon pressured the visitors into a turnover with 1:11 left in the quarter. The Wolves had a pretty good look to steal the game in regulation, but Spencer Maughan's shot at the buzzer clanked off the front of the rim.

Maughan converted on a driving layup on the opening possession of overtime and the Wolves never looked back. They netted the first eight points of OT and outscored the Titans by a 13-4 clip during the additional four minutes of action.

"Oh, it was gritty, man," Tye said. "For the first half, we were kind of playing a little soft. We weren't boxing out. They got a lot of offensive boards and on those O-boards they were getting second-chance points, and that's where our deficit came. ... In the locker room (at half) coach just said, 'all we need to do is box out.' So we came out the second half and he said it was a mentality. We changed our mindset. We just pounded them in the throat, kept boxing out and getting boards, pushing the ball."

Green Canyon went 9 for 10 from the free throw line in overtime to vanquish any chance of a Syracuse comeback. Five different Wolves knocked down freebies after Maughan put the hosts ahead for good.

"I felt like we handled overtime with a lot of composure," Brown said. "For not being in that moment, really not playing in front of a (big) crowd for two years, that was impressive."

It was an all-around team effort for Green Canyon, which had five players score between 10-15 points, plus Layker Ward came off the bench and buried two timely 3-balls midway through the third quarter. Jared Anderson led the way with 15 points, followed by Tye and Smith with 14 apiece. Maughan chipped in with 12 points, while Day scored all 10 of his points after halftime, plus took what Brown called a "huge" charge late in the fourth quarter.

"I think something that was fantastic from our team today is we played together," Tye said. "If you look at the scoreboard, man, it was 15, 14, 14, 12, 10. I was a very overall team win, it was really a team win. We knocked down our free throws, came back in the second half and won the game in overtime. It was fantastic."

Like Day, Smith bounced back decisively from a challenging first half, and the senior did great job of getting to the basket and faciliating the Green Canyon offense. Smith's father, former Utah State and current Utah head coach Craig Smith, was on hand to watch his son net 11 of his points after halftime.

"Brady was really good at just weathering the storm and managing that game like a senior point guard, the way that we'd expect him to," said Brown, whose team knocked down nine trey. "But I also felt like his leadership was huge because the first half we weren't playing the right way, and the advantage we have is having a guy like that to get us calmed down, get us going the right way. ... And really, a lot of our guys were just all-stars in their roles (tonight)."

Kaden Erickson scored a game-high 19 points for the Titans, while Brandon Clark contributed with 16. These two teams met during the summer and Green Canyon prevailed by two points.

Brown made it a point to thank a raucous Green Canyon student section following the win.

"Our student section was outstanding tonight," he said. "I just can't tell you guys enough how much I appreciate them and how much they mean to our team. We had 85 band members here tonight that got this (gym) rocking and our student section was a major factor tonight."

OTHER BOYS GAMES

Logan opened its season on Tuesday against visiting Ben Lomond and kicked off the Mitchell Argyle era with a 62-54 victory, while Ridgeline was edged at home the following day by 5A Timpview, 70-69.

The Grizzlies narrowly outscored the Scots in every quarter and netted at least 14 points in every quarter, to boot. Jalen Argyle led the way offensively for Logan with 18 points, followed by Gage Jenson and Will Jensen with 13, and Jaelin Hoth with eight.

The Ridgeline-Timpview showdown was a nailbiter throughout as neither team led by more than three points at the end of any quarter. Both teams knocked down 25 field goal attempts and 12 free throws, but the T-birds drained one more trey than the Riverhawks, 8-7.

Kaden Cox and Peyton Knowles both contributed with 22 points for Ridgeline, which got 12 points from Josh Jackman. Cox sank four 3-balls.

GIRLS GAMES

Four Cache County teams were in action on Tuesday and three prevailed in their season openers. Union was no match for Ridgeline, which jumped out to a 36-7 halftime lead and coasted to a 69-27 victory at home. Sky View was also triumphant at home by a 58-50 scoreline over Morgan.

The other two games involving local teams came down to the wire. Mountain Crest traveled to 5A Viewmont, outscored the Vikings 18-9 in the fourth quarter and escaped with a 52-50 win. Meanwhile, Green Canyon was unable to make a fourth-quarter lead hold up against Judge Memorial, which rallied to a 59-57 win at home.

Union was unable to contend with the 1-2 punch of Ridgeline's Elise Livingston and Emilee Skinner. Livingston finished with 20 points and five steals, while Skinner chipped in with 19 points, nine steals and four assists. Hallee Smith scored nine points for the Riverhawks.

Sky View took a comfortable 16-point lead into the fourth quarter against Morgan and got 18 points from Hannah Radford, 17 from Addey Merrill and 14 from Melanie Hiatt. Merrill had four of the team's seven 3-pointers.

Sadie Coggins and Havyn Brown netted 14 points apiece for Mountain Crest, which also got seven points from Kali Jones and Lexie Coggins.

Maren McKenna recorded a double-double for Green Canyon with 13 points and 16 rebounds. Brooke Monson paced the Wolves with 16 points, while Cambree Tensmeyer and Janalynn Blotter added seven apiece. Teya Sidberry poured in 33 points for Judge Memorial.

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

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