5A Basketball Quarterfinals: Bonneville Boys Win Another Dramatic Game, Book Semi-Final Spot | News, Sports, Jobs


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Bonneville High basketball players celebrate after defeating Alta 55-54 in the State 5A quarterfinals on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022 at the University of Utah.

Patrick Carr, Standard Examiner

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Bonneville’s Carson Jones passed out during the 5A Men’s Basketball State Quarterfinal against Alta on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022 at the University of Utah.

Patrick Carr, Standard Examiner

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Bonneville players celebrate a field goal made during the 5A Men’s Basketball State Quarterfinals against Alta on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022 at the University of Utah.

Patrick Carr, Standard Examiner

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Bonneville’s Koy Dixon dribbles the ball during the 5A Men’s Basketball State Quarterfinals against Alta on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022 at the University of Utah.

Patrick Carr, Standard Examiner

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Bonneville’s Joe Tesch goes to the basket during the 5A Men’s Basketball State Quarterfinals against Alta on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022 at the University of Utah.

Patrick Carr, Standard Examiner

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Bonneville’s Jake Williams shoots a 3-pointer during the 5A Men’s Basketball State Quarterfinals against Alta on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022 at the University of Utah.

Patrick Carr, Standard Examiner

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SALT LAKE CITY – Just over a week ago, Jake Williams’ late 3-point shot and a defensive save by the Bonneville High men’s basketball team secured the Region 5 title for the Lakers in a 54-51 win over Woods Cross.

On Monday, Williams had another late shot. This time it was a 2 point. This time it was in a big state tournament that kept Bonneville alive in his hunt for the big trophy.

Williams’ late score, under with five seconds remaining, was the final blow in a dramatic and entertaining 5A State quarterfinal that Bonneville (20-4) won 55-54 over No. 5 Alta on Monday. morning at the Huntsman Center.

If the Lakers hadn’t gotten an all-time 3-point shooting performance from senior guard Koy Dixon, they wouldn’t have been able to win with a field goal in the final seconds anyway.

Dixon finished 7 of 8 from 3-point range and 8 of 9 overall, scoring 23 points, and the No. 4 Lakers will return to Huntsman Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against No. 1 Olympus.

“I was just out there shooting and having fun. I had to make shots against a good team like this,” Dixon said. “I don’t know, I struggled throughout the year, honestly. But coming in, I was just like, ‘I have to step in for my team.’

Dixon had a five-game streak in Region 5 where he scored a total of 18 points on 6-of-30 total shooting and 4-of-25 3-pointers.

“My team kind of carried me and everybody around and I feel like it was time to do my part,” Dixon said.

Not only did Dixon shoot 8 of 9 overall, but he had several shots from beyond the college 3-point line, which always throws a wrench in teams’ shots when they get to this stage of the tournament. It didn’t seem to affect either team.

Alta shot 51.3% from the field and the Lakers shot 50% overall, going 11 of 18 (61.1%) from beyond the arc. Alta bounced off Bonneville 27-20. The Lakers shot just 2 of 6 from the foul line, but they committed just five turnovers to the Hawks’ eight.

Four years ago, Bonneville went to the 4A State Semifinals in Cedar City. Since moving to 5A in 2019-20, the Lakers have improved every year, going from 8-13 to 14-8 and now 20-4.

“I am so proud of our children; they played so hard,” BHS coach Kyle Bullinger said. “The variables that they can control in a game, I thought from tee to green we controlled those variables.”

Dixon had already shot 3 of 4 from 3-point range in the first half as the Lakers went 6 of 10 from downtown as a team and took a 32-30 locker room lead. His shooting in the third quarter hit another level as he hit all four long balls he fired, the fourth of which put Bonneville ahead 51-44 in the fourth quarter.

Like many Lakers games already this year, it was played on the wire.

And like most of those close matches, they ended up winning.

“They’ve been a tight-knit group the whole time; our locker room was never a problem. It’s cheesy little things that all the coaches talk about, but it’s been really important,” Bullinger said of why the Lakers seem to be winning so many close games.

The Hawks scored with 17 seconds left to go ahead 54-53, then Bonneville came down the field and tried to score.

“We knew we were going to win,” Dixon said.

The ball went out of bounds for an Alta player with 10 seconds left and the Lakers made their second bite at the apple count when Williams worked inside for a layup with five seconds left. Williams scored 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting.

“His arrival has helped us so much,” Dixon said of Williams, who transferred to BHS from Northridge this year. “We wouldn’t be here without him. He’s like everyone else: so important.

Carson Jones added 10 points with seven assists, five rebounds and zero turnovers for BHS.

Normally the Lakers like to get most of their points inside, but Bullinger said he knows they’re capable of a big day of 3-point shooting.

“We knew we had that in us, but it was just fun to see it all fall into place,” Bullinger said.

To try to ease the potential nerves of playing the first game of the day on a Monday in a college arena, Bonneville practiced Sunday at the Dee Events Center, then stayed at a hotel in Salt Lake City Sunday night.

“We just sort of talked to them about soaking up those experiences. They will remember those little trips here far more than they will ever remember anything I taught them in any class,” Bullinger said.

The Lakers’ quest for a first state basketball championship since 1987 continues. Standing in their way next (7 p.m. Wednesday back at the Huntsman Center) is 24-1 and top-seeded Olympus, who are playing as well as, if not better than, any team in the state.

The Titans are scoring 75.7 points per game, allowing 46.8 per game, shooting 53% from the field, 41% from 3-point range, and all five starters are shooting 50% or better.



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