It was a tough ending to a challenging season last Friday for the Bear River boys basketball team, which came up on the short end of several last-minute finishes throughout the season but still managed to make it to the second round of the state playoffs.
The Bears traveled to Hurricane last Friday, Feb. 21 for a second-round matchup with the Tigers, who got to play at home by securing the higher seed. Hurricane received the No. 8 seed in the 4A state tournament bracket, while Bear River was No. 9.
The Bears had a solid start and led 14-13 after the first quarter, but were outscored in each of the last three periods as Hurricane cruised to a 81-67 win before its home crowd.
The Tigers’ Bryce Thomas lit up the Bears for 32 points, while Daxton Daley scored 21 and pulled down 14 rebounds. Individual statistics for the Bears were not available as of press time.
Under a new playoff seeding system this year, all six teams from Region 11 made it to the playoffs. Logan and Mountain Crest, the fifth- and sixth-place teams from the region, were knocked off in the first round. At fourth place, the Bears earned a first-round bye. The top three seeds — Sky View, Ridgeline and Green Canyon — all scored double-digit victories on Friday.
The Bears were trying for a third chance at Sky View, which they lost to in the state championship game last year. Instead, the Bobcats will play Hurricane in the quarterfinals this Thursday at Weber State University.
Bear River finishes the season with an overall record of 13-10, including a 4-6 mark in region play. Next season, they will have their work cut out for them as they try to fill the big shoes left by departing seniors and top scorers Mark Huber and Ren Fonnesbeck, as well as Logan Litchford.