Brenchley leads Hawks past Grizzlies in thriller
By Jason Turner staff writer
Fans made their way into Grizzly Den in droves, and they were treated to an exciting, hard-fought boys basketball game between a pair of intra-valley rivals.
Jaxon Brenchley made sure it was the Riverhawks who left the packed gym victorious.
Brenchley scored 12 of his game-high 26 points in a five-minute stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters, giving Ridgeline enough breathing room to earn a 71-65 victory over Logan in front of a raucous crowd on Friday night.
âIâve been waiting for this game for a long time and it was a big game,â Brenchley said. âLoganâs a great team. â¦ I just tried to play smart tonight and help make plays for my team, and thatâs what it took (to win this game).â
The Riverhawks (11-4, 3-1 Region 11) only held a perilous 47-45 advantage late in the third quarter when Brenchley and Theron Wallentine took over. The duo combined for all 16 points during a 16-6 spurt which gave Ridgeline a seemingly comfortable 63-51 lead with 4:39 left in the contest.
To their credit, the Grizzlies (8-9, 1-3) refused to go down without a fight. Logan pared the deficit to 66-60 courtesy of back-to-back buckets by Josh Jensen and five consecutive points from Cody Brimhall. However, thatâs as close as the hosts would get.
âIâm excited for the boys,â Ridgeline head coach Graydon Buchmiller said. âYou know, not everyone gets to have that kind of environment to play in. Itâs a great rivalry and a well-coached team on the other side. Theyâre going to give everything theyâve got, weâre going to give everything weâve got, and itâs just fun to lay it on the line and let those kids play a little bit.â
Buchmiller and Logan head coach Logan Brown raved about the atmosphere Friday.
âWeâre lucky to have that type of fan base here at Logan High,â Brown said. âWeâve just got to give them a little bit more of a reward at times.â
Nevertheless, Brown was pleased with how much better his team played than Wednesdayâs 68-46 setback to Region 11 leader Juan Diego at Grizzly Den.
The Grizzlies were red-hot from the field in the first half of Fridayâs game, as they drained 13 of 18 shots. Logan likely would have went in the locker room with the lead at halftime â Ridgeline was up 34-32 at the break â if it wasnât for nine turnovers.
Logan finished with 15 turnovers to just five for Ridgeline, which racked up 11 steals. That was arguably the difference in the contest.
âI thought our guys played really hard,â Brown said. âI thought we improved with our energy and our effort level. Weâve got to get better at taking care of the basketball and understanding that itâs the difference between winning and losing.â
It was a balanced offensive effort from both squads. Although it was Brenchley who had the big night for the Riverhawks â the senior was especially adept driving to the basket and finishing through contact â he received plenty of help from his teammates.
Wallentine netted 16 points and pulled down five offensive rebounds for Ridgeline, Landon Jenson added 11 points â nine on a trio of 3-pointers â and Dallan Larsen knocked down seven free throws. The Riverhawks went 23 for 31 from the charity stripe.
âIt was a big game and we need players to be able to step up and make big plays, and there really wasnât anything magical,â Buchmiller said. âJust guys decided to go make a play, and it was great to see us to that in that environment. And we had multiple guys sense that opportunity, step up and make those plays.â
Four Grizzlies scored in double figures in Jared Bagley (15 points), Jensen (14), Brimhall (13) and Brayden Roberts (10). Jensen went 6 for 8 from the field.
âI thought Josh played as good as Iâve seen him play all year throughout the entire game,â Brown said. âAll four quarters were really good.â