Springville coach Justin Snell said Friday’s contest at Maple Mountain for the Region 8 championship was a “composure game.”
You know, the kind of game that is perfect for preparing a team to make a deep run in the state tournament.
The Red Devils kept their composure facing a hostile crowd and a fourth-quarter comeback by the home team, eventually claiming a 55-50 win and the Region 8 title.
Last week, Springville lost two of three region games by four points to Payson and by two to Salem Hills in overtime.
“I just think we’ve got some things that we believe in, from trying to keep ball out of the paint to rebounding the ball to not turning it over,” Snell said. “For us that’s what we rely on. When the guys keep their composure, that’s the focus. They (Maple Mountain) hit some big shots but we didn’t give up an offensive rebound (in the fourth quarter) for them to hit the dagger, and for us that was enough to win.”
Springville (12-2 Region 8, 18-5 overall) led as many as nine points in the second half and led by six, 47-41, with 4:15 to play. But Corbyn Anderson and Seth Krommenhoek made back-to-back 3-pointers and suddenly, the game was tied at 47. The Red Devils took a 53-50 lead with 47.7 seconds to play on a pair of Cooper Riggs’ free throws and turned to defense to lock down the win. Maple Mountain had a couple of chances to tie the game after Springville missed four straight free throws but each time the Red Devils forced long 3-point shots and rebounded the misses. Finally, with 4.8 seconds to play, Paul Terry calmly drained two foul shots for the final five-point margin.
“Maple Mountain is a great team and they finished their season strong but last week we were tested with lot of close games,” said Terry, who led Springville with 18 points. “I think tonight we found a way to keep our composure and we came out with a win. We have so many threats. We can go inside or play on the perimeter. We can play good defense and we can run. When everyone is playing their roles we are really hard to beat.”
Snell had a long talk with Terry after last week’s loss to Salem Hills, expressing his confidence in his point guard and discussing what his role has to be.
“Paul is one of the best point guards in the state and he controlled this entire game,” Snell said. “When things are going great or bad, he was out there making sure everybody understood he was going to take care of the ball and get it where it was supposed to be. These last two games, he’s just been superb.”
Terry scored eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, as the Red Devils got off to an 11-4 lead. Braxton Tanner scored 10 points for Maple Mountain in the second quarter and the Golden Eagles trailed by just one at halftime, 19-18.
Springville’s 6-foot-9 center, Zach Visentin, sat with foul trouble and went scoreless in the first half but scored eight straight in the third quarter to help his team out to a 30-23 lead at the 5:19 mark. Maple Mountain made six second-half 3-pointers to stay close but couldn’t find the mark late in the game.
Snell said he thought it had been at least six years since Springville had won a region championship.
“For us it means a lot,” Snell said. “I think the region championship is about longevity. These guys proved over 14 games that they were the best in our league and for us that’s something to be proud of.”
Visentin scored all 12 of his points in the second half for Springville, which now waits for Saturday afternoon’s state tournament reveal. The top three seeds in the Class 5A tournament receive first-round byes.
Tanner led Maple Mountain (10-4, 18-5) with 19 points and Anderson finished with 11.