Heading into Tuesday’s Region 8 showdown in Spanish Fork between Maple Mountain and Provo, Golden Eagle senior guard Logan Green felt like he had something to prove.
“I haven’t had good games against Provo in the past,” Green said after the game. “I wanted to come out and make a statement.”
His Maple Mountain squad started well and took the lead early but midway through the second quarter the Bulldogs drilled a big 3-pointer to cut the Golden Eagle lead to 17-12. It was a pivotal moment, one were Provo could’ve seized the momentum.
But then Green took over.
He scored eight points and had two assists that resulted in five more points as the home team went on a 13-3 run to push the lead to double digits. Maple Mountain was never seriously challenged the rest of the way as it pulled away to get the 71-47 win over the Bulldogs.
“Logan Green controlled the game,” Golden Eagle head coach Johnny Averett said. “I think he’s the best kept secret in the state. He makes things happen at both ends of the court and never runs out of energy.”
Green finished the game with 23 points, nine assists and at least four steals, setting the tone for the inspired Maple Mountain effort.
“He’s been a great leader for us,” Averett said. “He loves to be aggressive and you have to have that in key situations. You can’t just sit back. He epitomizes the aggressive attitude of a great point guard.”
Green said that the big first-half sequence was definitely a team-effort – and not just with the players on the floor.
“Having the home crowd there helped a lot,” he said. “We had a lot of people there cheering us on. It was important for us to stay composed on defense and that translated to our offense.”
The visitors made a push right before halftime and looked like they would be within striking distance as they were down 10 points in the final seconds.
But Green drained a deep 3-pointer to end the half, then sparked a 10-0 spurt to start the third quarter by scoring a bucket and setting up a pair of treys with assists.
“It was awesome to be a part of that run,” Green said. “We got that last bucket of the half but we knew they are a well-coached team and they were going to come out firing after the break. In past games when we’ve been ahead, we’ve come out soft in the third quarter. We focused on locking down defensively and that got the offense going.”
Provo head coach Don Johnson said his team knew they were facing a tough challenge.
“They are the No. 1 team for a reason,” he said. “We emphasized that we had to stop their shooters but because of some injuries so we had to put some new kids out there. We made some runs but we didn’t play well defensively. They executed and we played a little scared because there were always guys in our face. There were no open looks.”
Averett said the goal for Maple Mountain defensively was to make the Bulldogs uncomfortable.
“We were mixing up what we did defensively on almost every possession in the first half,” Averett said. “Our 2-3 zone was working so we stuck with it in the second half. I think our defense got them out of rhythm.”
In addition to Green’s big game, the Golden Eagles also got a balanced effort scoring as six player had between six and nine points.
Provo was led by 15 points from senior guard/forward Gabe Gutierrez.
Averett said the next step for Maple Mountain is to maintain the aggressiveness while continue to buying into letting the Golden Eagle defense set the tone.
Johnson feels like his team has stumbled a little bit and wants to see the Bulldogs regain more confidence in themselves moving forward.
Maple Mountain (10-1, 2-0) next plays at rival Spanish Fork on Friday, while Provo (8-3, 0-2) hosts Salem Hills the same day.
Both games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.