The game everybody was anticipating in the 1A tournament happened in the opening round instead of the championship final when top-ranked Wayne faced second-ranked Tabiona. The Tigers prevailed 52-45 Wednesday at the Dee Events Center, ruining the Badgers hopes of a state title.
Tabiona coach Lee Gines isn't ready to claim the title just yet."Now that we won the game, I wish it was for the title," Gines said. "We know there are other good teams here."
Tiger coach Greg Southwick was impressed with his opponent.
"I'll be surprised if somebody beats them."
One thing that any team would be hard pressed to be better at than Tabiona is foul shooting. The Tigers shot 94.7 percent for the game as a team, missing only 1-of-19 attempts - and making 10 in the fourth quarter - to provide the difference in the game.
"It's been our strong point all year," Gines said.
With the score knotted at 28 at intermission, Gines put the Tigers into a slow-down in the third, which limited the teams to nine combined points in the quarter. Trailing in the fourth, the Badgers were forced to play aggressive defense, which almost was enough.
On at least three occasions, Wayne managed a steal but failed to convert the turnovers into points.
"We just didn't finish plays," said Southwick. "We thought we had the talent and skill to win a state championship."
Tabiona faces Valley, winner of a play-in to even be at the tournament, today at 9 p.m. while Wayne heads into the consolation bracket.
In other 1A action:
Valley 48, Intermountain Christian 46: The last team to qualify for the tournament was the first team to advance in the day's first game. Valley's Ben Sorensen hit two foul shots with less than one second remaining to carry his squad into the second round. Valley won the battle of the boards 38-22.
Altamont 71, Waterford 61: Dallon Fieldsted's 20 points paced Altamont, which is on a roll after winning the Region 16 tournament. Fieldsted was one of three Longhorns in double figures. Zachry Meachemam tallied 16, while Matt Wade recorded 17 in the loss.
Panguitch 65, Wendover 44: A fourth-quarter scoring spree led Panguitch past Wendover. Tyler Barney managed 19 points, while Jeremy Withers added 15. Panguitch will face Altamont at 7:30 p.m. tonight
Duchesne 83, Mount Vernon 45: All 14 players scored for the Eagles as they demolished the Patriots. Dajun Heaps had a game-high 13 points in Mount Vernon's losing cause.
St. Joseph's 49, Escalante 40: Scott Platz and Paul Velez combined for 34 points to help St. Joseph's to an upset victory. Platz collected 15 rebounds to complement his 18 points. Ryan Cottam scored 18 points, while Escalante made just 26 percent of their shots. St. Joseph's will meet Duchesne at 6 p.m.
Green River 70, Dugway 60: Four players reached double-digit scoring for Green River - including Ryan Parsons with 28 points - in an upset. Green River shot better than 50 percent from the field and made 80 percent from the line. Dugway's Jed Kelly tallied 25 points.
Piute 73, Manila 36: Piute ran over Manila with a balanced attack. The T-birds shot 53 percent from the field but only 50 percent from the foul line. Piute will face Green River at 4:30 p.m.