CEDAR CITY — Two Region 12 rivals will meet in the 4A boys basketball state championship game Saturday night, as Bear River and Sky View each won their semifinal contests Friday evening in Cedar City.
Bear River 50, Bonneville 49
In a back-and-forth battle that ended with a thrilling last-second finish, the Bear River Bears outlasted Bonneville 50-49.
Bear River started strong, taking an 11-4 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Lakers outscored the Bears 18-11 in the second to tie the score 22-22 at halftime.
Bonneville then began to pull away during the third quarter, extending its lead to double digits. But the Bears weren’t done, and managed to chip away at the deficit and eventually pull even with the Lakers in the final minutes.
Bear River actually led 46-42 with about three minutes to play, but Bonneville’s Jordan Citte made a 3-pointer to put the Lakers ahead again, 47-46.
Shortly thereafter, Bear River’s Mark Huber made a pair of free throws to put the Bears back up by one, 48-47.
Bonneville’s Zachary Alspaugh then answered with a clutch 15-footer to give the Lakers the lead again, but Bear River’s Ren Fonnesbeck then made the final go-ahead basket, assisted by Wyatt Roholt.
Bonneville then missed its own go-ahead shot attempt with less than five seconds left, and fouled Bear River on the rebound. Bear River missed the free throw on the other end however. Bonneville rebounded the miss, and even though the Lakers lacked any more time outs, they still managed to get the ball downcourt in time for one last shot attempt, a layup by Citte that hung on the rim momentarily before falling off as time expired.
Bear River was led by Roholt and Huber, who each scored 15 points, while Parker Coombs added 13. Alspaugh was Bonneville’s leading scorer with 12 points, while Citte added 11 and Hank Bushell scored 10.
The Bears will face Region 12 rival Sky View in Saturday’s championship game, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Although the Bears finished the season as the region’s second place team with a 7-3 region record, they lost both of their regular-season games against Sky View, which tied for third place in the standings with a 6-4 record and entered the tournament as a No. 4 seed. The Bobcats beat the Bears at Sky View 83-69 on Jan. 16 and 77-52 at Bear River on Feb. 6.
Sky View 70, Payson 60
In Friday’s other semifinal game, the fourth-seeded Sky View Bobcats used a strong first half to overpower the Payson Lions, the No. 2 seed from Region 10.
Sky View’s Mason Falslev poured in 35 points, including six 3-pointers, as the Bobcats built a 36-17 lead at halftime. The Bobcats then went on to lead by more than 20 points for much of the second half until Payson’s last-ditch rally at the end brought them within 10.
Sam Phipps contributed 11 points for the hot-shooting Bobcats, while Cole Deboard added 9.
Payson was led by Logan Sorensen’s 23 points. Sam Mitchell added 13 and Kade Rowley made 12.
Jeff Richards is a reporter for stgeorgenews.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org