OREM – Coach Mike Maxwell has built a tradition of basketball success at Bountiful High School.
Among the traditions in nearly 30 years leading the Braves is a full-court press that even his long-standing rivals complain about every year. On Monday evening, the Skyridge Falcons had to face it for the first time.
The Falcons, in just their second year, now understand.
Bountiful forced 19 Skyridge turnovers and held on for a 56-52 win in the 5A boys tournament at Utah Valley University’s UCCU Center. With the win, the third-seeded Braves advanced to play fourth-seeded Skyline Wednesday and the winner of that game will be a surprising entrant in the semifinals.
Isaac Kime led Bountiful with 14 points and Brig Willard added 10,but it was Jadon Chism’s four pressure-filled free throws in the final minute that clinched the win.
“The press is part of our program. It’s part of who we are. We’ve used it all year,” said Maxwell, whose club improved to 11-12 overall. “They (the Falcons) knew it was coming. Everybody does. ”
The Braves forced three consecutive turnovers early in the game and went on an 8-0 run to take a 12-6 lead and they never trailed again. Bountiful held a 38-27 advantage at halftime and it was needed to withstand a fourth-quarter rally paced by Trevon Snoddy that got Skyridge to within four points.
The Falcons were forced to foul, however, and chose Chism, a starter last season whose role has changed to providing a spark off the bench this season.
Maxwell said Chism’s experience helped. He was fouled twice in a 10-second span and nailed all four charity shots to secure the win and end Skyridge’s 14-10 season.
“We knew they (the Falcons) wouldn’t quit,” Maxwell said. “They play in a tough reason and finished in second place, so you know they had to be a good team. It was quite a battle and both teams played had to play hard all 32 minutes.”
Skyridge was frustrated for most of it. The Falcons never got a break with Bountiful’s full-court pressure and the Braves’ 42 percent (5-12) accuracy from three-point range also hurt. Point guard Joe White was saddled with foul troubles most of the game, but there was also some high points.
Snoddy was Skyridge’s top player with 19 points and 10 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end, as the Falcons made up for their turnover troubles with a commanding 35-21 advantage on the boards.
Duncan Reid added 14 points.
Bruce Smith grew up in Boise, Idaho, and is a longtime newspaper sports writer. He writes primarily high-school sports articles for the Deseret News.