Brenchleys take over as Riverhawks pull away from Grizzlies
By Wes Mangum sports writer
MILLVILLE â For the first 25 minutes, it appeared as if this rivalry game on Senior Night was going to come down to the wire.
Landon and Jaxon Brenchley had other plans, though.
The Brenchley brothers asserted themselves down the stretch, and Ridgeline (16-4, 8-1) rode a 16-0 run in the final six minutes to a 60-53 win over Logan in a Region 11 boys basketball tilt. It was the Riverhawks eight straight victory.
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âWe just exploded,â Ridgeline head coach Graydon Buchmiller said. âI think we just came up with some better plays than we did in the first three quarters. We didnât really change anything. We just challenged our guys to step up and make plays.â
A tightly wound first three quarters saw nine different lead changes. The Grizzlies (11-11, 4-5) started the fourth with a 44-42 lead. Jared Bagley nailed a deep 3-pointer to extend Loganâs lead on its first possession of the quarter.
From there on out, though, the Riverhawks shut Logan down. Jaxon Brenchley got things started with a putback basket, and Landon sunk two free throws on the next possession. Landon again got to the basket after a steal, and he finished through a foul. The sophomore converted his old-fashioned three-point play with a free throw, and the Riverhawks recaptured the lead, 49-47, with 5:17 left.
Ridgeline continued to extend its lead. When it was all said and done, the Riverhawks had gone on a 16-0 run before Logan finally scored again with just over a minute left. The two Brenchleys were responsible for all 16 of Ridgelineâs points during this stretch.
âLittle Brench, as we affectionately call him, he really stepped up,â Buchmiller said. âWe just found a little bit extra to fight through and make some transition baskets.â
Landon Brenchley was a sparkplug. He scored a game-high 19 points on the night, and did most of his damage on fast-break opportunities. The younger Brenchley made the most of his chances from the charity stripe, going 9 of 11.
âIt was fun,â Jaxon Brenchley said. âWe just made plays. Landon kept running the floor, and I kept finding him. If they key on me, heâs going to exploit that. Heâs a great player.â
Jaxon had a great all-around game. He pulled down six rebounds and dished out four assists. The University of Utah signee also swatted four shots and came away with four steals, to go along with his 13 points.
âI just try to make the best play to win,â he said. âWhether thatâs taking over and scoring, or drawing guys to me and kicking the ball out. I just try to win the game, thatâs all Iâm trying to do.â
Loganâs outside shooting kept things close. The Grizzlies made five treys, three of which came from Bagley. He had a team-high 17 points.
Logan just struggled to find the bottom of the net in the fourth. To their credit, the Grizzlies showed a good amount of composure. They didnât turn the ball over very often and played with patience. The gym was packed to the roof with fans of both teams, and it made for a raucous environment.
âIt was fun to have the crowd out like it was,â Buchmiller said. âThey gave us a boost. This is the biggest crowd weâve had, for sure. It was fun. Itâs a close rivalry. Weâre not at the level of Duke and North Carolina, but it has that feel of being just down Tobacco Road.â
Theron Wallentine and Landon Jenson scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, for Ridgeline, which honored Dallan Larsen, Levani Damuni, Shay Tiev, Jeron Hansen, Jaxon Brenchley, Wallentine and Jenson prior to the contest.