Hawks throttle Maeser Prep,
fall to ALA
By Rhett Wilkinson
The Hawks’ talons were beyond sharp. Then, they suddenly went dull.
The North Sanpete basketball team (11-6, 7-3 Region 14) led 36-8 at halftime Wednesday, Jan. 27 en route to beating Maeser Prep Academy (1-15, 0-8) 70-25. But then just two days later, the Hawks were outscored 15-5 down the stretch in losing 61-47 against American Leadership Academy (5-14, 5-4).
Hawks Coach Cris Hoopes started seldom-used Zach Allred in the first game.
“I thought that Zach works hard for us in practice and there’s been some games that get close and we’re doing something that maybe doesn’t suit Zach,” Hoopes said. “I wanted to reward Zach.”
Also, Hoopes was able to play each player against the Lions. Nine players scored five points or more, led by Morgan Bowles’ 11 points.
“It’s good when you have a game that you can get everybody in,” Hoopes said. “As a coach, you always play to win and sometimes, you don’t get to play all the kids you want to and I was grateful to get them all in and get them some looks and varsity time and experience.”
“They played good, fundamental defense tonight and they were able to get out and run,” Hoopes said of his team. “We were able to get turnovers early and we finished on the break and we were able to build a lead.”
The Hawks also committed just six turnovers in the game.
After the Maeser contest, Hoopes said he felt like his team just needed to keep “rolling” and win the ALA game.
He also said that that game would be “tough” and that North Sanpete would need to be ready.
It wasn’t. Two of the team’s best players in Brady Jacobson and Dallon Steadman got into foul trouble as the Eagles went on an 18-1 run in the second quarter. North Sanpete came back, knotting the score at 36 with 2:23 left in the third quarter after a Tyrel Morley 3-pointer. But the Hawks were outscored 15-5 down the stretch.
“They hit some 3s as we pressed and then we as a team lost composure at times,” Hoopes said. “We haven’t had any meltdowns as a team and that was discouraging to see. We need to be able to play our way in tough situations.”
To make things worse, Isaac Applegarth had to leave the game prematurely with a bad leg sprain.
“We thought it was broken at first, but it seems he will be all right,” Hoopes told the Sanpete Messenger.
The game was still in doubt in the second quarter and ALA was in the midst of its run. But Hoopes played relatively seldom-used reserves like post player Duncan Hendry at that time.
“We were in foul trouble and they were pretty big,” Hoopes said. “We have confidence to play any of our players if they match up well with what we are doing.”
With North Sanpete down 17-16 with 2:57 left until halftime, Jacobson picked up his second foul. But Hoopes kept Jacobson in the game. Then Jacobson picked up his third foul on a charge just 84 seconds later, the Hawks down 21-16.
Hoopes explained: “Sometimes playing with multiple players in foul trouble, you feel like you need to let one or more players go. You have to try to predict what they will do, which is hard with some players. They were pressuring us and so I chose Brady to help with that pressure.”
Two critical referee calls made an influence on the game.
Down 55-44 with 2:27 left in the game, Jacobson made an excellent strip of 6’9” Colton Davis. But he was called for his fifth foul, fouling him out. The Hawks didn’t recover.
Down 41-36 with 1:01 remaining in the third quarter, with ALA in the midst of a run, Trevin Morley attempted a pass to Landon Bowles that was tipped out of bounds by the Eagles. But the referees granted the possession to ALA. The Eagles would outscore North Sanpete 20-11 from there.
The Hawks led 11-6 after the first quarter, after Trevin Morley hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, and it was still 14-9 with 6:15 left in the second quarter. But then Steadman picked up his second foul. Thirty-nine seconds after North Sanpete had tied it at 36, Steadman picked up his third foul. Then, down just 46-42 with 5:18 left in the game, Dallon Steadman picked up his fourth foul.
Steadman had eight points and six rebounds while Jacobson had five assists. Landon Milne led the Hawks in scoring with 13 points.
This week, North Sanpete will play at Union (4-9, 3-5) Wednesday and will face Juab (13-3, 6-1) Friday in the home finale.