RICHFIELD — The Beaver’s boys basketball team had a plan and stuck with it as the Beavers secured a 55-49 2A championship win over region rival Enterprise Saturday night in Richfield.
The game plan was simple — defense, defense, defense, according to coach Joe Hillock.
“It’s our second championship in three years,” said Hillock, who in his ninth year said he has a challenging program but it works.
“These kids did it all,” Hillock said. He said he was proud of the team through the tournament, as well as throughout the entire season for being the No. 1 defense in 2A.
“I’m so proud of the kids and also my assistant coaches who have all worked so hard to get here,” Hillock said.
While maybe not every team believes it, Hillock said Region 18 is the toughest in the state — a sentiment shared by Enterprise coach Bud Randall.
“You have to come to play every night in our region,” Hillock said. “We beat up on each other all season long, and that makes us all better.”
- Watch replay: Beaver 55, Enterprise 49
The defensive key was turned early in the game as Beaver held Enterprise to four points in the first quarter, all from Tyler Hiatt.
Meanwhile, Beaver’s Nate Brown found the net twice, once from beyond the perimeter, while teammates Ky Brown and Jake Eichorn both nabbed buckets to establish a 9-4 edge.
Beaver continued with its stingy defense through the remainder of the half, with Enterprise’s Hiatt and Adam Holt being the only ones able to turn the numbers on the scoreboard for the Wolves.
Beaver’s Nate Brown, McCoy Smith, and Crayton Hollingshead all made field goals for the Beavers in the second period. Then Ky Brown took to the foul line to score three more.
“We had great leadership from Ky Brown on the court all night,” Hillock said.
Ky ended the half with a 3-pointer fired off as the buzzer sounded, putting Beaver up 21-14.
Enterprise regained some composure during the break and stormed back on the court with its signature sprinting pace. Mathew Bowler fired off a 3-pointer 19 seconds into the second half for Enterprise, hoping to change the momentum of the game.
Beaver wasn’t having it, as Treyson Hunter converted a 3-point play, followed by two more shots from the line by Ky.
“It’s amazing to be here,” Hunter said. “When you can shut people down with your defense and be patient on offense, you’ll win every time.”
Enterprise continued to control the game through the third period, holding Beaver to 10 points, including a 3-pointer drained by Levi Randall at the end of the quarter.
Down 32-24, Enterprise picked up the pace again in the fourth quarter, and closed the gap. With approximately four minutes left, Enterprise pulled to within four points thanks to a run seven-point run with contributions from Hiatt, Randall and Jed Beckstrand.
With less than four minutes to go, Beaver kept with its game plan – contain the Enterprise offense, and shoot the foul shots.
Ky Brown topped all scoring players with 24 points, including a 9-of-10 effort at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
“Our team put it all together all season long,” Ky Brown said. “I’m just so grateful for everyone who put effort into this program for us.”
Another contributor to the win was Eichorn.
“I just had to stay consistent and not let them get 3s late in the game,” Eichorn said. He said it became a little frustrating at times, especially as the clock was winding down. That’s when Enterprise unleashed a volley of 3-pointers from Randall and CJ Drake as the Wolves tried a last ditched effort to get back into the game.
Outside of the three 3-point shots, Beaver maintained its defensive posture to secure the win.
Deseret News 2A boys all-tournament team
- MVP — Ky Brown, Beaver
- Jake Eichorn, Beaver
- Treyson Hunter, Beaver
- Paora Winitana, American Heritage
- Mathew Bowler, Enterprise
- Tyler Hiatt, Enterprise