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The Sanpete Messenger

Tigers post classic wins over top U.S. high school teams

Wasatch Academy’s Mady Sissoko (No. 44) grabs a rebound between Matt Bradley (No. 1) and Damion Squire (No. 5) in their upset 68-65 victory against Glendale at the Bass Pro Shop Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo.

 

Tigers post classic wins over

top U.S. high school teams

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

Jan. 18, 2018

 

SPRINGFIELD, MO.—The Tigers of Wasatch Academy went 2-1 against some of the best competition in the country at one of the best in-season tournaments in America—the Bass Pro Shop Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo.

The two wins came in the final seconds, and the loss came against a team with the best player the Tigers’ coach has encountered in his years with Wasatch Academy.

In the tournament, the Tigers earned themselves a bit of amazing history in high school basketball.

The game in question, their second game on Friday, Jan. 12, versus Glendale High (Mo.), did not start well for the Tigers.

It was evident the Tigers were still experiencing their loss from the prior day and fell behind by as much as 20 points in the first half and were down 24-42 at the break.

Coach for Wasatch Academy, Curtis Condie, said he sat with his team at halftime and told them, “In the two games we lost this year, you all decided to do things your own way and not as a team. When this game is finished, I will know what type of team I really have here. Just do what I tell you to do, and you will win this game.”

What came next became an instant classic.

The Tigers roared back into the game. Down 18 points at the half, Wasatch Academy was down by only one point at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter went back and forth with the teams trading shots and leads.

With 24 seconds remaining, the score was tied at 65.

Glendale had possession, and their leading scorer, Monty Johal, who already had 30 points on the night, dribbled the ball, waiting to take the last shot.

Johal drove toward the bucket and pulled up for a 15 footer.

But his shot was blocked by Matt Bradley, and the deflection was grabbed by Damion Squire, who took one dribble to the foul line and launched a two-handed prayer at the goal 70 feet away.

It was a prayer that was answered, as the shot fell through the rim as time expired to give the Tigers a 68-65 victory.

Their final game of the tournament on Saturday, Jan. 13, was against Ozark High (Mo.), which the night before had defeated Christ the King High School (N.Y., N.Y.), the same high school that hosts the Dick’s National High School Championship and has produced many NBA players.

The Tigers, facing a team with a pronounced height disadvantage, had to chase around the smaller team and was down seven points at half, 21-28.