North Sanpete Hawks now 2-0 after recent win over South Sevier Rams 61-55 in close game
By Matt Harris
MT. PLEASANT—North Sanpete basketball went into the Thanksgiving break with a 2-0 record after an impressive win against South Sevier last Tuesday, Nov. 26.
Led by solid free-throw shooting and a breakout performance by sophomore Landon Bowles, the Hawks defeated the Rams, 61-55, notching their second consecutive victory over a former region opponent after North Sanpete went winless in Region 15 last year.
“There is a good energy with our team, and we felt last year like the team never pulled together,” Coach Cris Hoopes said. “This year, the boys seem to be bought into each other and are finding ways to win games. We have a long way to go but feel we are on the right track.”
Bowles finished with a game high 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while junior Dallon Steadman was the focal point of the team’s performance as he notched a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Bowles made a huge impact on the defensive end, being primarily tasked to guard South Sevier senior Brandt Williams, who was the returning leading scorer for the Rams this year. Williams managed only 10 points on 4-23 shooting, including being 0-11 from the 3-point line.
While both teams eventually started to figure it out on offense, the beginning of the contest was scrappy and laden with turnovers. South Sevier scored the first four points of the game for an early lead, but North Sanpete rushed back with a 9-0 run capped by a Steadman layup.
Senior Devin Palmer capped the first quarter with a 13-8 North Sanpete lead after impressively euro-stepping to the hoop for two points. The Hawks maintained a solid lead of multiple possessions for the entire second quarter and took a 27-21 lead into the half in a low-scoring game to that point.
After halftime, both teams started to improve their offense and got consistent in their scoring, and South Sevier tightened up the perimeter to keep the Hawks out of the paint, forcing several more turnovers and pulling the game close at the end of the third quarter, 42-40 in favor of North Sanpete.
Sophomore Tyrel Morley opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to extend the lead to five.
The Rams weren’t finished yet, but Bowles was just getting started.
Bowles hit a 3-pointer which was answered by a South Sevier 3-pointer. Bowles struck again with a layup and a foul to keep North Sanpete’s lead at three.
South Sevier kept pace with the Hawks all the way up to the final 3 minutes of the fourth quarter when a 3-pointer by the Rams tied the game at 50-50.
Bowles came through again for the Hawks by taking over from that point on. By attacking the rim with aggression, Bowles go to the line multiple times in the next two minutes and was the prime factor of a game-sealing 9-0 run by the Hawks following the tie.
The two squads combined for 36 turnovers, and North Sanpete had merely eight assists on the night, five of them from Bowles.
North Sanpete started their season 2-0 for the first time since 2015.
The Hawks have a busy week ahead with four games in four days from Wednesday to Saturday. They played Carbon on Wednesday after press time and head to the Bear River Winter Classic to take on South Summit, Gunnison Valley and Bear River.