Clearfield 53, Cottonwood 42
CLEARFIELD — It was just last year that the Clearfield Falcons were the doormats of Region 1. They were the gimme victory.
Oh, what a difference a year makes.
After beating Cottonwood 53-42 Tuesday night, the Falcons are 5-2 in region play and 11-5 overall and stand all alone in first place — even though it is just a game better than Davis. It is better than the basement.
Last year the Falcons won only one region contest, but Falcon coach Brett Higgins said his team watched the awful horror of last year and learned from it.
"If you would have told us at the beginning of the season that we would be 5-2 after the first game of the second (half of the region season), we would have taken that and ran with it in a heartbeat," Higgins said.
Bobby Brown, Blake Ross, Larry Robison, Coury Morris and Jared Moultrie, who led the Falcons with 15 points, all saw considerable action last year, and now they all start together.
"We had a lot of juniors that played a lot of minutes for us last year and got a lot of good experience," Higgins said. "But more than anything, those guys, and the guys that sat on the bench, watched and figured out some of the things that it takes to win."
The Falcons clamped down defensively and held the Colts to just one point in the first quarter at 12-1 as junior Justin Robison had four of his six points.
The Colts, using a deliberate and patient offense, got back into the contest by scoring the first six points of the second quarter — four of which came from Darnell Jones, who finished with 15 for the game. They cut the lead to one at 14-13 on a pair of foul shots by Jason Zepeda, but Moultrie stepped in and took over by scoring the next five — one on a basket and a two-and-one — and Larry Robison hit a three-point banker just beyond half court at the buzzer to increase the Clearfield lead to 22-15.
"As always, Jared Moultrie did a good job of keeping us focused on what we needed to do," Higgins said. "He can always get 25 shots every game, but he knows we have a better chance to win when he distributes the ball to the people the need to have it."
The Colts, playing without their point guard Adam Watts, who underwent knee surgery earlier in the week, whittled away and whittled away at the Falcon lead and cut it to three points with a minute to go, but had two costly turnovers on its next two possessions. Clearfield went 8-for-8 from the fine in the final 1:06 to buck the Colts.
"We beat ourselves tonight," Cottonwood coach Blair Martineau said. "They're a good team, but you can't turn the ball over like we did tonight."
With the loss the Colts fall to 10-6 overall and 3-4 in league play.
In other boys games Tuesday night:
LAYTON 71, VIEWMONT 56: Chris Perry scored 22 for Layton, who blew the game open with a 23-point second quarter.
SKYLINE 51, NORTHRIDGE 50: Matt Caramella hit two free throws with two seconds left to give the Eagles the win. He finished with 16.
OLYMPUS 75, MURRAY 72: Craig Walton made four 3-pointers and scored 32 points as the Titans edged the Spartans. Lance Wallin added 23 points for Olympus. Parker Thomas scored 27 for Murray.
WEST 60, WOODS CROSS 55: William Taukiuvea led all scorers with 24 points, West led all game.
BOUNTIFUL 44, EAST 39: Jeff Jensen made two 3-pointers and scored 19 points to lead the Braves over the Leopards.
CYPRUS 53, HIGHLAND 43: Despite missing their center, the Pirates got a win at Highland. Jeff McCleve scored 16.
PAYSON 89, SPANISH FORK 68: Skyler Crouch and Alan Marvin combined for 47 points to give Payson the 20-point win.
LONE PEAK 64, PLEASANT GROVE 46: Matt Wilder scored 18 points to lead the Knights over the Vikings. Derrick Turley scored 18 for Pleasant Grove.
TIMPVIEW 95, SPRINGVILLE 47: Jake Moon led Timpview to a huge win with 22 points.