Timpview 48, Provo 46OGDEN -- So much this week had been made about how much the Timpview boys basketball team loved the Dee Events Center, loved the baskets there and the purple seats and the drive from Provo to Weber County.
And that chatter will certainly continue after what the Thunderbirds did there Saturday night, defeating Provo 48-46 in the 4A title game.
For the second year in a row, Timpview was crowned champs at their northern home court known as Weber State. But their postgame celebration seemed even sweeter and louder and longer than it did when the T-Birds beat Springville here in 1999.
Simple reason, too. On Saturday night, the Thunderbirds beat their fiercest rivals, their longtime buddies, their neighbors who happen to go to Provo High.
"I couldn't help but think there's some destiny to it," said Timpview's first-year coach, Perry Wildeboer, who was an assistant under Don Chamberlain last year with the title-taking T-Birds. "You couldn't write a better scenario than playing Provo in the final."
"It's really nice," saidTimpview star Steve Espersen, who led the T-Birds with 18 points and 11 rebounds. "Especially because we're seniors and this is our last game."
Amazingly, in the two decades that Timpview has existed, the Thunderbirds and Bulldogs had never met up in a state championship in any sport.
This one had a phenomenal finish, but only after the Thunderbirds rallied from a nine-point third-quarter hole.
Ironically, considering the Bulldogs are renowned for their defense, it was the Thunderbirds' D that won this one.
With 7.8 seconds left and Provo trying to score the game-winning bucket, Mike Ferriera stepped in front of driving Bulldog forward Eric Red and took a charge.
"He's been doing that all year," said Wildeboer, explaining that the senior has earned 22 free Zuka juices for taking charges this season. "He loves Zuka juices."
Ferriera made one of two free throws, but most important, his defensive play forced Provo to go the length of the court for one last try.
The long 3-point attempt at the buzzer by Red bounced off the rim, and an orange-and-blue flood of Timpview students stormed the floor for a wild celebration.
"Terrible call," said Provo coach Craig Drury. "But that didn't cost us the game."
He was more disheartened that Provo -- led by Jake Chrisman's 22 points -- missed out on reclaiming the gold trophy because of some un-clutch shooting from the free-throw line in the last minutes.
"We won the ball game, except for three front ends (of one-and-one situations)," Drury added.
It was also Ferriera who scored the go-ahead-for-good basket in the last minute, against the toughest of opponents. With 55 seconds remaining, Ferriera made a brilliant spin move around Chrisman and softly put the ball in for a 47-46 lead.
"There was something in my kids' souls," Wildeboer said. "They weren't going to let it go. All that momentum turned into a tidal wave, and they weren't going to be denied."
Not against Provo in Ogden.