As he left the floor, Orem assistant coach Matt Logan looked up at the scoreboard and said, “Tonight we were touched by God.”
That may sound a little bit dramatic, but how else to explain the Tigers running away from Timpanogos 90-57 in the Orem Fieldhouse?
The Timberwovles came in No. 6 in the Class 5A RPI and had won their Region 7 opener by edging Mountain View in overtime. Orem had region losses to Lehi and Alta and came into the game with a 3-10 record.
Some nights, things just go right.
“We’ve had a learning curve going but we’ve been getting better and better,” Orem coach Perry Wildeboer said. “We’ve been battling in games. We’ve developed some combustion and it was due to go ‘boom!’ The guys were making the extra passes. We’ve got shooter and when the ball gets moving we can hit some shots. During the preseason we would win three quarters, lose one quarter and lose the game. We only lost to Pleasant Grove (6A No. 1) by nine and we were up at Alta by four with two minutes left. We finally put it all together.”
The beating started early. Nick Clark made a trio of 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the first quarter, with Koy Burge and Lance Reynolds also hitting one triple each. Orem led 21-9 heading in the second quarter and stayed hot. Jack Martin knocked down three 3-pointers and Ethan Stoddard tallied eight points as the Tigers pushed the lead to 48-21 at halftime.
Timpanogos could never cut into the deficit as Orem cruised to its first region win.
“We’re getting closer,” Wildeboer said. “Progress is being made. I feel like in some ways this has been a lot of learning for our younger guys. We played in a league of strong seniors. But the guys never got discouraged. ‘Ice’ (Aisake Toiavao) had a great game and Ethan took a couple of charges in the first half on Jackson Holcombe.”
Toiavao, the only returning starter for the Tigers, led all scorers with 22 points and made 12 of 14 from the foul line. Dane Christensen added 21 with Clark (13) and Stoddard (11) also reaching double figures for Orem (1-2 Region 7, 4-10 overall).
Luke Maddux paced Timpanogos (1-1, 7-6) with 15 points. Holcombe had 14 and Jaxon Vancherie scored 13.
The Tigers will host 5A’s No. 1 team in RPI, Timpview on Friday. The T-Wolves will travel to Mountain Ridge.