RICHFIELD — Emery’s Bowdie Jacobson has never even daydreamed about making the kind of shot he did on Thursday morning.
“I just threw it up,” the sophomore said of the 3-point shot he chucked up with 3.5 seconds left in the Spartans’ 2A quarterfinal game against Summit Academy Thursday at the Sevier Valley Center.
His 3-point shot flew over an airborne defender, banked off the glass and through the hoop to tie the game and send it to overtime.
“Unbelievable,” he said of how it felt to make that shot. “No words. Crazy.”
That was similar to the description offered by his older teammate, senior guard Dillon Wilstead, who put the team in that position just a play earlier with a four-point play when he was fouled on a 3-point shot that also hit for the Spartans.
“Up, down and all-around crazy,” Wilstead said of how he’d describe his team’s fourth-quarter comeback. “When we were down 10 or 11, I just knew if we got it going, we could start coming back. We would have the momentum we needed to rush right through it. We just needed to take care of the ball and get rebounds.” It didn’t hurt that when it mattered most, the Spartans were also able to hit some heroic shots.
Wilstead got the assists on Jacobson’s game-tying trey. While he looked to shoot it but couldn’t get open, he said he had no hesitation in handing it off to his younger teammate.
“Whatever,” he said smiling. “He’s a great player. He was huge.”
The Bears led most of the first three quarters, but really looked like they’d taken over the game when they outscored the Spartans 21-12 in the third quarter.
“I thought the first quarter we didn’t rebound very well at all,” said Emery head coach Todd Jeffs. “As the game wore on, we got a few putbacks, got a few extra chances, and down the wire, I thought it was a free-for-all. I didn’t think the refs were calling anything on a rebound. I thought it was a madhouse under there. Luckily we came up with a few.”
Trailing by 12 points heading into the fourth quarter, the Spartans had some key defensive plays that helped them fight their way back into the game.
The final minute was a roller-coaster ride for both teams. With 31 seconds left, Wilstead hit a 3-point shot and was fouled. He fell to his back grimacing in pain, but then raised his hand in celebration as he walked to the foul line and hit the single free throw that made it a one-point game at 63-64.
“I didn’t see it,” he said of his 3-point shot. “I just heard everybody yell.”
With 13.3 seconds remaining, Bears guard Danny Figueroa hit two free throws to give Summit Academy a 66-63 lead. On the next trip down the floor, Jacobson took a frantic pass from Wilstead and knocked down the 3-pointer that tied the game at 66, sending it into overtime.
Coach Jeffs said he never felt the momentum of the game shift completely in favor of the Bears.
“With three seconds to go and we’re throwing up a prayer, that shouldn’t happen,” he said. “But it did. For whatever reason, karma was on our side. I’m just glad to be advancing now.”
He said he can’t remember a game — watching or coaching — where a team scored seven points the way Emery did on Thursday.
“We had some luck,” he said. “I don’t remember a game where I watched, anywhere, where the last seven points were scored on a four-point play and a banked three; that shouldn’t happen. But it did. That was exciting.”
He said that while his team didn’t execute perfectly down the stretch, their effort made up for mistakes.
“I wasn’t giving up hope,” he said of the waning minutes of the game. “There were so many opportunities where our guys could have hung their heads and said, ‘Well, bad call, bad circumstances or whatever.’ But I credit our guys. They hung in there, they kept making plays, they kept chipping away. And things worked out for us.”
The Spartans never let the Bears get any traction in the overtime.
“We established control quick in the overtime, which was good,” Jeffs said. “I think we had a little momentum on our side. It was a good game and to win it all, you’ve got to have a game like that somewhere that you win and you probably shouldn’t.” The Spartans were led offensively by Wilstead and Jacobson, who scored 15 points each. Jacobson also had five assists and six rebounds, while Ridge Nielson added 10 points and Koby Butler scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
The Bears were led by Tyler Farris, who scored 22 points and had four steals, Zach Scott, who added 13 points, Danny Figueroa, who added 12 points and Dallas Wheadon, who finished with 11 points.
“Our guys made plays,” Jeffs said. “I don’t know that we were always in position to make plays, but they did. I’m really proud of these guys.”
ENTERPRISE 55, LAYTON CHRISTIAN 46: The unranked Wolves upset the state’s No. 1 ranked 2A team with stifling defense and patient offense. The Wolves led most of the game, although the Eagles did come within a point (20-19) at halftime.
The Wolves were led by Travis Dougherty, who scored 14 points, while Isaac Wallin added 12 points. Koden Hunt and Ricky Ramos each scored eight points in the upset.
The Eagles only had one player in double digits — Taylan Barrett, who scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Gerardo Munoz added nine points, while Igor Torres finished with eight points in the loss.
SOUTH SUMMIT 58, PAROWAN 46: After fourth-ranked Parowan outscored South Summit by nine points to tie the game heading into the fourth quarter, South Summit showed great poise in the fourth quarter to pull away for the 2A quarterfinal victory.
Jason Griffin led South Summit with 22 points — eight of which came in the fourth quarter. Kaden Atkinson finished with nine points, including two 3-point shots in the final quarter of play. Bracken Santos added 10 points, while Mason Gines finished with eight points.
Parowan was led by Brenan Rowley, who scored 17 points, and Shandon Clark, who added 14 points in the loss.
MANTI 76, SAN JUAN 59: The third-ranked Templars pulled away from the Broncos in the second half of their quarterfinal win. Manti had four players in double digits, led by Thomas Allred, who scored 17 points. He also had four assists and three steals, while Derek Wright added 16 points, four rebounds and two steals. Connor Bolles and Stuart Lott added 11 points each in the win.
The Broncos were led by DiQuan Lopez, who scored 10 points, grabbed six rebounds, earned five assists and had four steals.
In Friday's 2A semifinal, South Summit will play Emery at 7:30 p.m., while Manti takes on Enterprise at 9:10 p.m.
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