Bear River -- 68
Granite -- 38Motivation was in no short supply for Bear River basketball star Chris Huber during his team's 68-38 victory over Granite High Wednesday night.
For starters, sparks were supposed to fly as he and Granite's Kenyon Rodgers squared off in a battle between two of the most talented high school guards in the state.
The surprise visit by his future coach, Utah's Rick Majerus, was extra incentive to play well, too.
Maintaining the No. 1 ranking in Class 3A and a perfect Region 7 record were also pretty good reasons to have a good showing.
But nothing got him going like his memory -- specifically of Granite upsetting Bear River by nine points on the Farmers' court last February.
"I remember vividly the crowd chanting 'overrated' as we left the floor," Huber recalled. "That still lingers in my mind."
Thanks in a big part to Huber's outstanding outing along with a tremendous defensive effort by the Bears in general, the Granite fans did little chanting Wednesday.
"We wanted to get revenge," said Huber, who scored a game-high 21 points. "That was one of those games that leaves a bad taste in your mouth."
This time, though, it was miserably cold-shooting Granite that was desperately searching for the Listerine afterward.
Things actually started turning sour for the Farmers last Saturday. Rodgers, the SUU-bound dazzling point guard, missed practice that day and was punished for it on Wednesday by being benched to start the game.
With 3A's leading scorer sitting on the pine, Granite couldn't generate any offense to speak of in the first quarter. When Farmer coach Ron Burnside finally nodded for him to check in with a minute left in the quarter, Granite had only scored two points.
Granite's only consolation was that Bear River had been almost as bad up to that point. The Bears only had three buckets before Rodgers entered, and they finished the ugly first quarter with a 10-4 lead.
Even with Rodgers, however, it only got worse for Granite.
Bear River scored the first eight points of the second quarter as part of a 12-0 run, and the rout was on.
Rodgers opened the second half with one of his trademark flashy moves -- an airborne float- ing layup -- but it ended being one of only two baskets he made. The other six of his season-low 10 points came from the charity stripe.
Bear River coach Van Price credited backup Ryan Sorensen, a defensive specialist who usually hounds Huber in practice, for helping hold Rodgers in check.
"Ryan did a phenomenal job on defense," Price said.
For the most part, Huber didn't defend Rodgers because Price hoped to avoid a shootout between them in order to get his whole team involved. The plan worked wonders.
"I knew if it would be a Rodgers-Huber showdown, then it would have been a game," Price said.
Though Huber said Rodgers is one of his best friends and he loves playing against him, he preferred not being matched up with him.
"He makes me look bad too many times," Huber said, smiling.
But that's precisely what he did to Granite's other guards. Huber, who mostly played off-guard, scored eight of his points by stealing the ball and going the distance for a layup. He also scored a couple of times after grabbing an offensive rebound, and he was on the receiving end of a nice alley-oop layup play.
Huber scored 10 points in the third to boost the Bears' lead to 49-24 by the quarter's end.
Kurt Webb added 13 points and Preston Bird had 12 for Bear River, which improved to 12-3 overall and 5-0 in league play.
Matt Harman was the only other player to hit double digits for the Farmers (9-6, 2-3). He scored 10 points, and football all-stater Anthony Parker had nine.