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5A boys basketball quarterfinals: Ford fights through illness to lead Timpview past Murray 53-32

Coleman Ford wasn’t feeling close to his best on Tuesday, although none of his condition showed throughout.

Timpview’s Coleman Ford passes the ball around Murray’s Jacob Pollei during the 5A boys basketball quarterfinals at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. Timpview won 53-32.
Timpview’s Coleman Ford passes the ball around Murray’s Jacob Pollei during the 5A boys basketball quarterfinals at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. Timpview won 53-32.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Timpview’s Coleman Ford is extremely tough to contain on the floor, as opposing teams have come to realize throughout his career. Turns out containing him away from the hardwood is at least as tough, however.

Fortunately for the Thunderbirds, Ford showed up and played through flu-like symptoms to lead Timpview past Murray 53-32 and into the semifinals of the 5A boys basketball tournament on Tuesday at the Huntsman Center.

“His dad called me yesterday before practice and said, ‘There’s only one way he’s not going to be in that game, and that is if he’s in jail,’” coach Kevin Santiago said of his final health check on Ford. “So he played sick and he’s just as tough as nails.”

According to Santiago, Ford had to have an IV in order to play, but gutted through it all and played well enough to make any appearance of someone with a perfectly clean bill of health. The junior guard finished with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and seven assists, but more importantly provided his typical spark for his team throughout.

As per the suggestion he wasn’t feeling at his best during the early morning game, Ford shrugged it off, saying, “I’ve kind of been sick the last couple of days, but it’s all good.”

Ford was good throughout, but particularly so in the second half when the T-Birds took charge immediately after the break. Leading just 21-15 at the half, Santiago’s team set off on an 11-2 run to start off the third quarter, and never looked back.

Santiago said a defensive change-up was the impetus behind the run.

“What we saw is that if you stayed attached to Nos. 13 and 21 ... then that could really stymie them, and that’s what you saw us do,” Santiago explained.

The No. 13 jersey is worn by Murray freshman Jaxson Workman with No. 21 belonging to Kyle Ross with Timpview’s defensive pressure on both largely reflected in the final stats where Workman finished with just two points on 1-of-7 shooting and Ross scoring just three.

On the offensive end, Coleman directed the show, much like he has throughout the year.

“That dude is one of the best players in the entire state of Utah,” Santiago said. “His heart is as big as can be. ... We’re not here in this game without him.”

Coleman had a lot of help, with standout performances coming from Yaw Reneer, who finished with 12 points and Jake Wahlin, who tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Murray was led by Jacob Pollei and his team-high eight points and Bowen Davies, who added six.

With the win, Timpview advances to the semifinal round where it will take on the winner of Farmington vs. Provo.