When No. 1 meets No. 3, expect good basketball.
Or in this case, free basketball.
Timpview, the No. 1 RPI team in Class 5A, and Mountain View (No. 3) battled to overtime on Friday in a big Region 7 showdown. BYU signee Jake Wahlin took over on offense in the extra session and the Thunderbirds defense pitched a shutout, resulting in a 70-60 victory.
“Before the game I was talked to Shawn (Mountain View coach Shawn Faux),” Timpview coach Kevin Santiago said. “He’s a college teammate of mine. They lost a heartbreaker last game (overtime against Timpanogos). I told him I was watching all their film and they are legit No. 3. They play tough and they play hard. No. 11 (Preston Thompson) is a load. We didn’t have a single guy that could box him out. But to be in the middle of it with them and playing hard, any time you get tested it’s about what you’re going to learn.”
Timpview led by as much as 11 points in the first half but Mountain View kept on the T-Birds heels, trailing 32-28 at halftime. The Bruins went on a 6-0 run to end the third and David Hair’s two free throws tied the game at 50 heading into the final frame.
Unfortunately for the home team, Mountain View went into the fourth quarter without Thompson, its leading scorer. The 6-foot-4 senior, who came in averaging 18.4 points per game, scored 23 points through three quarters. But he took a shot to the face near the end of the third and spent the rest of the game on the bench with an ice pack on his nose.
Still, the Bruins hung in the game. A 3-pointer by James Rust with 3:05 to play pushed Timpview up 60-56 but four huge points from Hair — a tip in and a backdoor layup — tied the game at 60.
T-Bird senior Jaxon Santiago drew a foul on a drive with one second to play in regulation and went to the line but had both free throws rattle out, forcing the overtime.
In the extra session, Wahlin scored the first basket on a strong move inside, worked his way for a putback score and knifed his way to the basket for a 66-60 lead with 1:03 remaining. Mountain View struggled to find gaps against the T-Birds defense and had three straight turnovers. Wahlin fired a length-of-the-court pass to James Rust for a breakaway dunk to end it.
“We were trying to get the ball inside but they kept packing it in,” Kevin Santiago said. “Luckily we ran a little counter play that opened Jake just long enough to get it in there. I was proud of him because he took with a really strong move to the hoop. That was just a big bucket. In a four-minute overtime, that first bucket is so big. Then we just came down and locked down on defense. Our defense was the difference there.”
Rust led Timpview (1-0 Region 7, 9-3 overall) with 21 points. Wahlin scored 17 and Santiago added 11. The T-Birds host Alta next Tuesday.
Besides Thompson’s 23 points, big man Calvin Gustafson scored 18 points for Mountain View (0-2, 7-4). The Bruins get the No. 2 RPI team, Lehi in Orem next Tuesday.