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Murray stays hot, downs Cyprus

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Murray 59, Cyprus 47

MAGNA — Although Tuesday's Region 5 finale between Cyprus and Murray had no bearing on region or state placement, it did have ramifications for two teams that appear to be heading in opposite directions with the 4A State tournament a week away.

Murray, who beat Cyprus, 59-47, to close out the regular season at 16-5 overall and 11-3 in league play, is firmly in at as the No. 3 seed from the region and has lost only one game in February — and that was to Bountiful, the league champion.

"I think that is the key. You want to keep their psyche up, and I think it's important to take every game seriously even though you're not playing for a chance to move up or down," Murray coach Gordon Kener said. "You're still playing with the intent; if you're going to move along in the tournament, then you want to keep the team sharp."

Cyprus, on the other hand, started the season 10-0; but since then the Pirates have lost seven of their last 11 games and lost three of four region contests, making them 14-7 overall and 7-7 in league play. The .500 mark was good enough, however, for a No. 4 seed in next week's tournament.

"Even though it doesn't do anything for us in the standings, it does everything for us mentally," Cyprus coach Clyde Ahlquist said. "You've got to have that mental lift. It's very difficult to go into a state tournament if you're down mentally. Our task in the next four of five days is to see what we can do to get us up mentally."

Despite losing to Bountiful and Murray in back-to-back games, Ahlquist said his team is playing better.

"I thought we battled hard. I thought we played a much more energetic game and much more of a game with our heart than we did against Bountiful. That's a positive, and that's what we have to build on."

Murray, after trailing briefly in the first quarter, built an eight-point lead with five minutes to go in the half, but the Pirates answered with an 11-0 to take the lead at 21-18 with 47 seconds left in the half.

Murray's Parker Thomas, who finished with nine points, had two consecutive hoops to end the half with the lead at 22-21.

Over the first four minutes of the third quarter the lead changed hands or was tied four times.

The lead was no greater than four points for either team in the final four minutes as Murray's Matt Thomas, who scored a game-high 20, and Cyprus' Monty Rogers took turns trading baskets. Matt Thomas scored seven straight for the Spartans, and Rogers, who led the Pirates with 14, tossed in six straight. Cyprus' Chase Bawden scored a basket with :50 seconds left in the quarter to reclaim the lead at 36-34.

The Spartans scored the first six points, four by Matt Thomas, and they never looked back as they built a nine-point lead midway through the quarter and maintained it through the finish.

Behind Matt Thomas, Dalls Courville added 12 points and Davis Hansen added 11, while Jeff McCleve added nine for the Pirates.

The Spartans will play the loser of tonight's Region 4 contest between Logan and Fremont, while the Pirates will play the third-place team from Region 6, and that will be determined tonight when the dust settles.

In other boys games Tuesday night:


SKYLINE 84, LAYTON 74: Brandon Wright scored 27 for the Eagles, who led by 23 after three quarters.

NORTHRIDGE 65, DAVIS 63: Jase McCormick hit a baseline jumper with two seconds left to give Northridge the win. He finished with 15.

VIEWMONT 48, CLEARFIELD 40: James Muirbrook led Viewmont with 10 as the Vikings held Clearfield to 15 first-half points.


WEST JORDAN 55, BINGHAM 42: Stephon Mills scored 19 points in West Jordan's win.


OREM 55, ALTA 46: Orem took a five-point lead in the first and never trailed.

MOUNTAIN VIEW 38, TIMPANOGOS 37: Dan Henry led Mountain View with 10. Mountain View shot 22 free throws; Timpanogos went to the line just once.

JORDAN 61, HILLCREST 48: Brad Leggat and Rick Brunsen scored 39 of the Huskies' 48 points, but it wasn't enough. Jared Leckner led Jordan with 16.


EAST 80, WEST 75: William Tukuafu netted 26 points, and East outscored West 23-15 in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime before prevailing in the extra session.

BOUNTIFUL 68, WOODS CROSS 67: Jeff Jensen led Bountiful with 30. Down by two, Woods Cross went to the line with one second left but missed the second free throw.

OLYMPUS 96, HIGHLAND 75: Senior forward Brandon Miller poured in 31 points, and Craig Walton added 24 points on six 3-pointers as the Titans nearly reached the century mark in the rout over the Rams. With the victory Olympus clinched Region 5's second seed heading into the state tournament. Dylan Durham led Highland with 22 points.


WATERFORD 68, MT. VERNON 31: Jake Reynolds and Kurt Reber each scored 10 points as 13 different Ravens players scored in the rout. Waterford is still undefeated in region play.

ICS 43, SL LUTHERAN 32: Michael Scharp and Tyler Assmus combined for 31 points in leading the Lions past the Lynx.

2A Crossover game

GUNNISON 50, SAN JUAN 50:Whit Reynolds scored 11 points to lead 12 Gunnison players that scored in the crossover game to determine seeding for this weekend's region tournament. Travis Shumway led San Juan with 14 points.

Girls' games


SOUTH SUMMIT 47, ROWLAND HALL 34: Ashley Simpson's 18 points paced the Wildcats to victory.

NORTH SEVIER 55, GRAND 23: Kristi Peterson scored a game-high 20 points as the Wolves downed the Devils.

E-MAIL: jhinton@desnews.com