MT. PLEASANT — The North Sanpete boys basketball team claimed their first Region 14 title in 11 years with a pair of wins last week.
The Hawks held off Juab in a thrilling 58-53 overtime win on Wednesday, Feb. 9.
North Sanpete then up wrapped up the season last Friday with a 65-46 win over Delta. The Hawks celebrated the region championship by cutting down the nets following the win over Delta.
The Hawks finish their season at 17-3 overall, the best record in 3A, and a 7-1 record in Region 14.
Over the weekend, the Hawks were given yet another pleasant surprise. Final RPI rankings showed the Hawks moving up to the No. 2 spot in the final rankings and playoff seeding.
“I’m proud of the boys thus far and their accomplishment,” coach Bill Pollock said. “I feel like they are the ones that should get the credit. They have a fun opportunity ahead of them if they can stay focused and do what they do well. At this point in the season, sometimes I feel like I’m just along for the ride. This has been a very fun team to be a part of.”
Against Juab, senior Landon Bowles led all scorers with 20 points, while seniors Ty Morley and Hunter Price scored 14 and 11 points, respectively. Bowles finished the regular season fourth in 3A in scoring at 16.4 points per game.
Against Delta, North Sanpete’s coaching staff opted to rest Bowles in preparation for playoffs. Morley led all scorers with 20 points, while senior Duncan Hendry scored a career-high 16 points. Senior Morgan Bowles had a near double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds.
In the win over Juab, it was all Hawks at the start. Following Juab scoring the first point of the game on a free throw, North Sanpete reeled off an 8-0 run. Juab ended the run with a 3-pointer only for the Hawks to go on another 7-0 run, opening up a 15-4 lead midway through the first quarter. The Hawks maintained their double-digit lead throughout the second quarter and went into halftime up, 28-18.
In the second half, Juab turned up the heat with back-to-back 3-pointers to cut a comfortable lead to only four, prompting a timeout by Pollock. Juab completed a 9-2 run to bring the game within three points before another basket by North Sanpete.
The Hawks proved resilient in pushing their lead back out to 10 with a 3 by Morgan Bowles, but it was short-lived as a technical foul call gave Juab two foul shots, which were both made. Those shots were part of a subsequent 8-0 run by Juab to cut its deficit to two.
As the clock wound down in the fourth quarter, North Sanpete held a comfortable five-point lead before Juab nailed a 3-pointer. Juab then stole the ball on the next possession and scored on a layup, tying the score and sending the game to overtime.
Both teams experienced cold shooting in the overtime period, only scoring a point each until the final 90-seconds. Juab finally got a go-ahead layup and appeared ready to play keep away if the Hawks couldn’t score again. After a timeout call, Mower got the bucket on a quick move under the basket, scoring his only two points of the game for the lead, and the Hawks made all their free throws to close out the win.
North Sanpete will host a second-round playoff game. The Hawks will play the winner of Richfield and American Leadership Academy. North Sanpete defeated Richfield 45-44 in a game played at Richfield in early January.