Timpview boys basketball shuts Orem down late to win 5A semifinal
Both the Timpview and Orem boys basketball teams have players who can score in bunches but they also both pride themselves on defense.
It was the defense that took center stage in a hard-fought, physical battle between the two Region 8 squads in Friday night’s 5A semifinals at the Dee Events Center in Ogden.
The Thunderbirds found themselves down 31-26 late in the third quarter, having only been able to put up four points since halftime.
But that was when the Timpview defense went into lockdown mode, confounding the Tiger offense for the rest of the game. Orem only score three points the rest of the way as the Thunderbirds pulled away to get the 47-34 win.
“That’s our biggest rival,” Timpview head coach Izzy Ingle said on the KJZZ broadcast after the game. “Every time we’ve played this season it has been a one-possession game. We had an amazing speaker this week who told us to make some plays and keep our composure, and that’s what we did.”
Leading the way for the Thunderbirds was senior James Rust, who was excellent at the rim on both ends of the floor. He finished with 19 points and seven rebounds for Timpview.
“He doesn’t want the season to end,” Ingle said on the TV broadcast. “He is the best leader I could have. As a senior, he keeps the young guys invested. They look to him and he sets the tone.”
Orem used a big rebounding advantage in the first half to get second chances and take a 23-22 lead at the break. The Tigers got a couple of nice shots in the third quarter to extend the lead, but went cold at the end.
In addition to Rust’s big game, Timpview had three other players with six points and two more with five.
Orem was paced by 10 points apiece by Anthony Felesi and Trey Hiatt.
The win sends Timpview to the 5A state championship game where the T’Birds will face another Region 8 team. No. 4-seed Alta had little trouble with top-seeded Olympus, rolling to the 71-51 victory in the other semifinal.
“They are an amazing team,” Ingle said on the TV broadcast. “They are so balanced. There are a lot of things they can do. We split with them this year but I like our chances. Flip a coin and we’ll see what happens.”
Timpview and Alta are scheduled to play for the state title at the Dee Events Center in Ogden on Saturday at 7 p.m.