PROVO — With 39 seconds left in the game, Skyview forward Jalen Moore broke the Provo full-court press, took off near the free-throw line and laid down a thunderous dunk that completely took the air out of the Bulldog gymnasium. It was one of the more athletic plays you could see on the high school level, and it all but finished off a pesky Bulldog comeback bid.
Moore was fouled on the play, and his ensuing free throw put the Bobcats comfortably ahead 54-48 en route to a well-earned 57-50 victory.
The Bulldogs had been nipping at Skyview’s heels throughout the second half, but Moore seemed to have enough with just under a minute left.
“I think Jalen (Moore) definitely wanted to end that thing, and I’d agree that that play did it,” said Skyview coach Kirk Hillyard. “Jalen is such a great athlete, and he has so much ability. He had a bit of a slow start, but he definitely stepped up big in the second half.”
Moore battled through foul trouble for most of the evening but still managed a team-high 21 points. The Utah State signee also wreaked havoc on the defense with his 6-foot-8 frame, constantly knocking away scoring bids inside among other efforts.
Provo had to make do without two of its starters (Wesley Bosco and Dallin Bosco), but still managed a 15-11 lead after the first quarter. At that point, Hillyard urged his team to step up its defensive pressure, and his players responded quite well. A 3-point basket proved to be the only points scored for Provo in the second quarter, and Skyview took a 28-18 lead into the half.
“I think our defense wasn’t good in the first quarter, and I just stressed to them after that quarter that we needed to step it up,” Hillyard said. “I made some lineup changes, and Cardon Porter came in and did a heck of a job. I was very pleased with our defensive effort in that second quarter.”
Provo wasn’t done, however, and mounted a furious comeback to tie the game at 40 with 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Guard Adam Finch keyed the comeback effort with five 3-pointers made in a four-minute span. Finch finished with a game-high 28 points.
“Adam Finch is a great player, and he gave us all we could handle,” Hillyard said. “Fortunately we stepped up to slow him down there at the end, but that’s a great team with a great coach — a legendary coach and a legendary program. To come all the way down here — I’ve never been down here before, but to beat a program like this is a big thing for us.”
With the win, Skyview moves to 4-1 on the year and will next take on Timpanogos. Provo drops to 3-1 and will next play Kearns in the first game of the Tip-off Classic Tournament, which it will host.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @BrandonCGurney
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company