<strong>HYRUM -</strong> It wasn’t easy, but Mountain Crest earned the Region Five title. After leading by as much as 15 in the third quarter, the Mustangs let their valley rivals Sky View come back to tie the game at 61 with just one minute remaining. Tyler Crosbie scored with one second left on the clock to lift Mountain Crest to the 63-61 win over the Bobcats.
“I’m just proud of the boys,” Mountain Crest head coach Graydon Buchmiller said. “That’s something they’ve worked for and it’s been a goal of theirs.”
Crosbie led all scorers on the night with an incredible 29 point performance. Tanner Knowles also came up big for Mountain Crest. The senior chipped in 17 points for the Mustangs in the win. Sky View was led by seniors Ty Nielsen and Jalen Moore who scored 22 and 21 points respectively.
Sky View popped out to a quick lead early. Just nine seconds into the game, Mitch Larson nailed a 3-pointer for the Bobcats. Crosbie got a bucket on the other end of the floor but that was answered quickly by a monstrous dunk by Moore.
The entire first half was close, with neither team leading by more than five. After two quarters, Mountain Crest held a slight three-point advantage over Sky View.
Moore scored quickly coming out of the half, pulling Sky View within one just a few seconds into the third quarter. But the rest of the quarter was all Mountain Crest. The Mustangs outscored the Bobcats 17-7 in the first six minutes of the quarter to extend their lead to 13.
“The third quarter is a big deal to start out well,” Buchmiller said. “Thank goodness we did because we needed every bit of those points in that cushion at the end.”
After a rough third quarter, Sky View turned up the intensity to start the fourth. Senior Nelson Ricks came off the bench to provide a defensive spark for the Bobcats. Ricks came up with several steals and played some hard-nosed defense on the Mountain Crest guards.
“He’s long and he’s active,” Sky View head coach Kirk Hillyard said of Ricks. “Some of those kids haven’t been playing much lately and he is one of those kids, but he came off the bench and did some really good things for us tonight.”
Some clutch free throw shooting by Nielsen brought Sky View within four with just a little more than two minutes to play. A three point play by Nielsen with one minute on the clock tied the game at 61. Mountain Crest then held the ball until just 13 seconds remained before calling a timeout.
“I thought we buckled down and made the plays we needed to make,” Hillyard said. “We didn’t have many empty plays down the stretch and we couldn’t afford to have empty plays.”
Coming out of the timeout, the Sky View defense gave the Mustangs fits. Mountain Crest struggled to get a good look until Crosbie, who broke his nose earlier in the quarter, took a quick drive inside and connected on a short jumper with just one second on the clock. Sky View had a desperation attempt at the end but threw the ball into the Mustangs’ hands.
“I’m just proud of our team, we didn’t give up and we had a chance to win at the end,” Moore said. “I’m proud of us to come back from fifteen down.”
Mountain Crest celebrated the win by cutting down the nets in honor of the region championship. Sky View finds itself jockeying for position for a place in the state tournament.
“That’s a great win for us,” Crosbie said. “We knew Sky View was coming with a dogfight and we knew we had to come in and finish it off. We’ve been thinking about this all our lives, you know, being region champions our senior year.”