CASTLEDALE—The North Sanpete Hawks led all of two times in their road game against the Emery Spartans, one of them being after the first shot of the game. The second time was after the last shot of the game.
Senior Landon Bowles drove in for a game-winning layup over two defenders, sinking it after the buzzer for a 45-44 comeback win over Emery last Friday, capping off a two-game streak of dramatic victories after they held off Providence Hall, 46-44, last Tuesday.
“I’m not sure I have the answer to the comeback,” coach Bill Pollock said, “but it was nice to see the resiliency of our kids when they faced some adversity last night. They stayed with it till the final whistle blew. I’m proud of them for that.”
The Hawks were by 13 at halftime and by as much at 15 in the third quarter. After Emery hit a shot from midrange in the fourth quarter with 2:30 left, North Sanpete commenced a 10-0 run capped off by the final shot from Bowles.
The Hawks played full-court defense to perfection against the Spartans over the final two minutes of the game, allowing only one shot and a free throw which were both missed.
North Sanpete forced a turnover and got Bowles to the free-throw line with 17 seconds remaining while down, 44-42. Bowles made the first shot for a one-point game and missed the second, but the rebound bobbled off the hands of an Emery defender into the hands of senior Morgan Bowles, leading to a timeout for a final possession for the Hawks.
Coming out of the timeout, North Sanpete’s guards searched for 13 seconds to find an opening before Bowles popped out of the frontcourt to the perimeter, taking the ball with under 3 seconds remaining. Bowles turned on the jets to drive to the paint and deliver an underhanded layup for the win as the crowd of Hawk faithful jumped to their feet and roared a victory cheer.
Bowles finished with 15 points and six rebounds. Senior Ty Morley finished with 11 points. The Hawks combined for eight made 3-pointers.
Prior to the win over Emery, the Hawks pulled out a tough victory over Providence Hall. Neither team held a lead of more than five points at any point in the game. After a shot for a 3-point lead with four minutes left, it was a defensive struggle to the end as the teams combined for three total points over the final four minutes of the game.
“We have to stay true to the things that we do well and continue to grow and focus on little thing we need to do to get better with each opportunity that we have,” Pollock said.
The Hawks played South Summit on Monday after press time. They’ll be back in action after the holidays.