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High school boys basketball: Sky View runs away from Desert Hills in 4A semifinals, returns to state championship game

Sky View forward Jackson Schumann (32) goes for a 3-pointer against Desert Hills forward Jace Mortensen (22) during a 4A boys semifinal basketball game at Dee Events Center in Ogden on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Sky View forward Jackson Schumann (32) goes for a 3-pointer against Desert Hills forward Jace Mortensen (22) during a 4A boys semifinal basketball game at Dee Events Center in Ogden on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.
Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News

OGDEN — For a little over a quarter of action played between the Sky View Bobcats and the Desert Hills Thunder at the Dee Events Center at Weber State University on Friday night, there was a legitimate question as to which team would earn a berth in the 4A state championship game.

The top-seeded Bobcats were the tournament favorites — being defending state champs will do that for you — but the 12-seeded Thunder had already proven giant killers with multiple upsets in the tourney and led 15-13 at the end of the first quarter.

It was truly anyone’s game.

By the end of the second quarter, the question had been answered in resounding fashion.

Powered by a dominant period, Sky View handily defeated Desert Hills 65-44, earning the team’s second straight title game berth.

Jackson Schumann led the way with a game-high 17 points, while Mason Falslev added 10 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and four blocks, a complete performance.

“A lot better day than yesterday,” Sky View head coach Kirk Hillyard said. “They all came in and did something really well tonight. It is a credit to them.”

The game was all but decided in the second quarter, as the Bobcats outscored the Thunder 28-5. It was Sky View basketball at it’s finest.

“We have had moments of that this year where we’ve played like that,” said Hillyard. “It all starts on defense, then we penetrate and find open guys. They had confidence in one another and that is what it takes, unselfish play and go out and get it done.”

Despite struggling with shooting for the second straight game, Falslev keyed the Bobcat’s second quarter success, on both sides of the ball.

On the offensive side, Falslev was the engine of the team’s attack and finished the first half with 10 points, 12 rebounds and three assists. Defensively, he was even better, though. Falslev was the primary defender on Thunder star Mason Chase, who entered the game averaging a team-best 16.3 points per game. With Falslev hanging on his every move, Chase was just 3 of 10 from the field in the first half — he finished with 14 points on 5 of 17 shooting — and was blocked by Falslev three times.

“No question that changed the game,” said Hillyard. “Mason Chase is a heck of a player, but Mason Falslev is a pretty good player, too. He took that challenge on and we told him you have shut him down. You can give up an outside shot or two but you can’t let him get to the basket. Mason has that ability.”

For as great as Falslev was, he wasn’t alone. Sky View’s runaway quarter saw practically every Bobcat improve on their performance in Sky View’s quarterfinal win over Hurricane on Thursday. Schumann was particularly effective, as were Titan Saxon, who finished with 9 points, and Caden Penrose, who had 10 points and five assists.

“Jackson Schumann came in and did a fantastic job for us tonight,” Hillyard said. “We know Jackson can score the ball and he gives us a different dynamic. He can shoot from the outside and inside. Happy for him. He is finally out there and is getting healthy.”

After struggling with Hurricane in the quarterfinals, Sky View looked the part of defending state champ and now the Bobcats are one game away from the repeat.

“It is crazy,” said Falslev. “I can’t believe it is my last year. Hopefully we can get one more.”