Off-season efforts shine through
in Hawk 25-point victory
over Providence Hall
By Rhett Wilkinson
MT. PLEASANT – Over the course of his North Sanpete Hawks boys basketball team’s 60-35 season-opening win over Providence Hall Friday night, Brady Jacobson looked a little better than much of the Patriot opposition, getting to the free throw line often en route to scoring 19 points besides tallying five rebounds and four steals.
As it turns out, Jacobson worked hard in the offseason, doing “a bunch of training” in Lindon.
“They helped me get stronger and faster,” Jacobson said. “My jersey was a little bit tighter than last year. I was kind of surprised, but it was good.”
Might Jacobson have to go up a size?
“I might have to change numbers. Just kiddin’,” Jacobson said.
North Sanpete Coach Cris Hoopes also noted that several of his players trained hard in the summer.
“Brady is definitely one of them,” Hoopes said. “His speed has really picked up and Dallon Steadman’s put on 10 to 25 pounds, somewhere in that range. And Trevin Morley’s put on some good weight and they’ve really strengthened up. So it’s been really good how hard they’ve worked.”
Steadman scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds. Trevin Morley had nine points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal to add to Ty Morley’s 12 points and three rebounds, according to the Deseret News.
The Hawks (1-0) full-court pressed with aplomb in the first quarter, after which they led the Patriots (1-1) 23-8.
“We were just taking a lead, so we thought we might as well speed them up just a little bit, see if we could get some easy, quick points and it turned out to be good for us,” Jacobson said.
Hoopes noted the negative aspect of North Sanpete’s pressure.
“In the second half, we didn’t do very good in it, so it’s something we need to improve on,” he said. “But we would like to pressure the ball more and more this year.”
Free throws also defined the game—55 were attempted, including 44 by the Hawks (they made 31), according to the Deseret News.
“[The referees] were calling some kind of cheap fouls, but we’ll take them,” Jacobson said. “We were knocking them down, so we will take those any day.”
Hoopes explained that his team plays an “attack” style. He explained that if you are attacking the hoop repeatedly and the opponent has been beat, the opponent will tend to “reach and grab, especially early on in the season.
“So you’ll end up with a lot of free throws in this beginning games. So it’s something we are working on,” Hoopes said. “We need to stay disciplined and keep our hands back.”
There was another aspect to the high number of free throws—the referees.
“I felt like they had several calls tonight where their hands are just out,” Hoopes said. “I feel like if that’s the way the game’s being called, teams need to adjust to it.”
Hoopes was complimentary of Jacobson.
“Brady does a lot of things for us. He plays really good defense and he has the ball in his hands a lot. Tonight, he hit timely shots and made a lot of free throws,” Hoopes said. “Great player for us. One of our leaders, for sure.”
Hoopes said that North Sanpete “shared the ball really well” and out-rebounded Providence Hall, besides getting to the free throw line more often.
“It just pays off,” Hoopes said. “Pretty much if you win the rebounding war and you win the free throw war and you have most assists, you usually win. So I think we were able to do those things tonight.”
Hoopes said he “absolutely” feels good about winning by 25 points to start the season.
“We’re building and we know that we have a long, long way to go, but it’s always better to get wins before you get into region play, especially. We play Manti, that’s our first region game and we play them in a week-and-a-half. We’re aware of that. With the season starting so late, it’s good to get a win and get going in the right direction, especially a good team win where we shared the ball and everybody contributed in several ways.”
Hoopes added that the Hawks must “prove” who they are.
“I don’t think by any means we have proved how good we can be,” Hoopes said. “And I think it will take a full season for us to prove every game. We need to earn respect.”
North Sanpete’s final points, coming from two Zach Allred free throws, gave it a tie for its largest lead of the game.
The Hawks’ next game is at home on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. against North Sevier, 1-1.