OGDEN – No team led by more than three in the fourth quarter until Joseph Hunsaker rebounded a missed one-and-one free throw attempt and hit Tyson Merrill for a layup to make it 56-52 for Mountain Crest with :48 seconds left. Ogden’s Jack Blodgeet then hit two free throws with 25 seconds left. Ozzy Norton stole the inbounds pass and hit Bret Van Tassell who swished a three to take a 57-56 lead with nine seconds to go. Tanner Bone drove down and missed a three through contact with no foul call and got a technical after Tassell hit two of four free throws for a 59-56 Tigers win.
It was a 40-40 game entering the fourth quarter that saw five lead changes and three ties. Both teams scored nine points each in the third quarter and traded three after three in the final quarter, but turnovers were the difference in the loss for the Mustangs. Mountain Crest averaged just over 14 turnovers per game coming in but had 19 against Ogden, 17 in the final three quarters including the crucial last one that allowed Tassell to take the lead for good.
Tanner Bone scored the first seven points of the game on his way to 14 in the first half. However, he checked out a few minutes in to the third and left the sideline looking uncomfortable while stretching. Bone finished the game but had only two points in the second half for a team high 16 for the Mustangs. Bone was unhappy after the game with the no call on his final shot, though, and made it very clear he just looked at the refs and didn’t say anything for his technical foul.
Both teams employed a 2-3 zone for most of the night, Ogden switching after the first quarter. The Tigers trapped the guards on the perimeter and used it to force eight second quarter turnovers including back-to-back steals that led to layups for Van Tassell to take Ogden’s first lead at 20-19 just a minute in to the second quarter.
Coach Andersen’s Mustangs used the 2-3 exclusively in back-to-back nights and seemed the way to go against an Ogden team that was averaging just over six made threes a game on the season. However, the Tigers were able to find their stroke making 12 on the night. Van Tassell had five on the night, including the game winner, on his way to a game high 21 points. Izzy Russell was the only other Ogden player in double figures with 11 points, nine of them via the three ball.
Bone had 16 to lead the Mustangs with Hunsaker adding 12 and Miles Croshaw in double figures at 10. Mountain Crest had 10 made threes on the night as well but struggled against the Ogden zone switch in the second and third quarters, scoring only 21 points in the two combined quarters after putting in 19 in the opening quarter. The Mustangs also turned the ball over 13 times in the two middle quarters. Senior point guard Nick Lefevre was not with the team after starting the night before against Grace.
After giving up 11 free throw attempts in the first half against Grace, and 14 overall the night before, Mountain Crest continued to put the opposing team at the line. The Tigers ended up with 14 attempts, finishing 9-14 and 4-7 in the final quarter. Meanwhile, the Mustangs were only 3-5 at the line against Grace and 9-11 at Ogden. That is an improvement after coming in to these two games shooting only 28-68 on the season.
The Ogden game was a make up after it was postponed from December 1st and the Mustangs will make up the game at Tooele on Monday before closing out non-region play against Preston Tuesday night. Mountain Crest lost to Preston 78-57 in the second round of the Indian Classic earlier this season.