Rebounds key to big Bobcat win over Bonneville Lakers

Smithfield, Utah — The Sky View High boy’s basketball team emerged victorious over the Bonneville Lakers, 60-47, on Friday. Senior Casey Oliverson scored a team-high 17 points as the Bobcats pulled away in the second half.

“(Casey) kept us in it with rebounding in the first half,” head coach Kirk Hillyard said. “He is pretty unstoppable when he gets the ball and shoots it on balance.”

The Bobcats struggled on offense to start the game and the Lakers jumped to a 4-0 lead on back-to-back layups. Sky View answered back and got on the board with a pair of 3-pointers from senior Riley Knowles. Knowles second basket tied the game at six.

Oliverson was held in check by the Laker defense in the first half, often being double- and even triple-teamed. The 6-foot-8-inch center had three points in the first quarter.

Bonneville overcame poor shooting in the first quarter with six offensive rebounds, which allowed the Lakers second chance points and kept the game close.

The Lakers used another 4-0 run to take a 27-22 lead midway through the second quarter, but the Bobcats responded with an 8-2 run to take a one point lead at halftime.

Both teams played physical as the teams combined to hit 16 free throws in the first half in a foul-filled contest. In a half that saw five tie scores and four lead changes, neither team led by more than five before the break.

Oliverson said the team talked about shot selection at halftime.

“Instead of shooting our first shot we passed the ball around more,” Oliverson said. “We changed our shot selection in the second half. We shot fewer 3-pointers but made a higher percentage.”

The Bobcats used their passing to get open shots to start the second half, and after the Lakers scored to take a one-point lead, Sky View went on a 11-2 run to break the game open. Junior Ty Nielsen scored five straight points and junior Jalen Moore hit a free throw for a 41-33 lead.

Moore finished with 12 points on the night, and found his way to the free throw line often. The Bobcats shot 27 free throws in the game, converting on 18 for 66.7 percent. Sky View pushed its lead to 13 early in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers got no closer than nine the rest of the way.

Sky View pulled down 28 rebounds and had 24 points in the paint on the night, and finished with three players in double figures in scoring. The Lakers were led by Quinton Larson who had a game-high 19 points.

With the win, the Bobcats improved to 11-2 on the year and moved into a tie atop Region 5 at 2-0. The Lakers fell a game behind at 1-1, and are now 7-6 on the season.

The Bobcats next travel to Logan High on Wed. Jan 25. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

“I love a valley-rival game,” Hillyard said. “The kids are going to bring their best. It is going to be a dog-fight. We will see how we play on the road.”