ORDERVILLE – With the bench leading the way, Valley cruised to a 65-45 victory over the visiting Mount Vernon Patriots on Monday night to advance to the Class 1A State Tournament.
The Buffaloes came out a little on the slow side, while Mount Vernon's Steven Li got the Patriots going by scoring their first five points. Lance Maxwell kept the Buffaloes on top by scoring nine points in the first quarter.
In the second half, Mount Vernon would not leave without putting up a fight. Brody Coop seemed to be unstoppable from the three-point range, and Mitch Erickson was a killer in the lane with his speed. However, Valley's bench players had the skill and strength to withstand the Patriots' final surge and finish off the victory.
Maxwell led the Buffaloes with 19 points, in just a quarter and a half. Josh Spencer came off the bench to add 10 points. Erickson (17 points) and Coop (12 points) led the way for Mount Vernon.
With the play-off win, the Buffaloes advance to play second-ranked Monticello in the first round of the state tournament at 5:30 p.m. at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield, Utah, on Wednesday.
"At state, we need to come out with fire and execute on both ends of the floor," senior Shane Baird said. "We need to come out and fill our roles."
PIUTE 68, SALT LAKE LUTHERAN 45: Piute advanced to the state tournament with a sharp showing on the road against the Lynx. Kelton Price scored 23 points for the T-Birds, who started out fast and never looked back in this contest. Chris Stanfill paced Salt Lake Lutheran with 23 points in the loss. Piute advances to play top-ranked Wasatch Academy at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
TABIONA 59, WAYNE 54: Trailing at the beginning of the final period, the Tigers kicked it into gear and finished off the feisty Badgers. Dane Rhoades recorded a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead Tabiona into the state tournament, while Demont Nay added 17 points. Cameron Chappell scored a team-high 15 points in his final game for the Badgers. Tabiona advances to play Green River in the first round at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
DUGWAY 68, PINNACLE 63 (OT): Jake Palmer (19 points), Sammy Peterson (17 points and Cody Billings (14 points) led the Mustangs over Pinnacle in the thriller. Three players from Pinnacle — MJ Taberna, Jullinn Garcia, and Demetri Hullings — scored 13 points each. Dugway advances to play ICS at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
PANGUITCH 62, TINTIC 39: Freshman Tyce Barney scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Bobcats over the Miners in the play-in game. Riley Miller added 15 points for Panguitch. Taran Taylor led Tintic with nine points in his final game for the Miners. Panguitch will play Rich at 4 p.m. in the first round Wednesday.
Lane Sorensen, a senior at Valley High School, enjoys writing sports articles especially about basketball. He plans to attend Utah State University in the fall where he wants to major in journalism.