by Tad Barton
The San Juan Broncos boys basketball team finished the 2014-15 season this weekend in Richfield, UT at the 2A State Basketball Tournament.
The Broncos played in two games, facing off against Manti in the first game and Layton Christian Academy in the second.
Both games ended in disappointment for the Bronco faithful as San Juan fell to Manti 76-59 and to Layton Christian 75-58.
In game one versus Manti, San Juan started off playing well, controlling the game in the first quarter. The Broncos jumped out to an early five-point lead over the Templars.
The teams looked closely matched throughout the opening period, which ended with the Broncos leading 15-13.
The second quarter saw multiple lead changes as neither team could distance themselves and build much of a lead. Manti gained the upper hand in the quarter though outscoring San Juan 11-9, and the two teams headed into half time all knotted up, 25-25.
The game took a turn for the worse in the third quarter as the Broncos ended up on the wrong side of a 30-9 quarter. The big run gave the Templars a huge 21-point lead heading into the final eight minutes of play, 55-34.
San Juan fired back in the fourth quarter, scoring 26 points. Unfortunately, it was too little too late, and the Broncos fell to the Templars 76-59.
The Broncos were led by DiQuan Lopez, who finished with 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Jonathon Lewis and Jordan Blake both finished with nine points. Lewis added three boards and three steals, while Blake pulled down five rebounds.
Three players finished with seven points, including Max Morley, Kesian Barton and Jaden Torgerson. Morley also had five rebounds while Barton pulled down three rebounds and dished out two assists. In addition to his scoring, Torgerson finished with three rebounds and four steals.
Caleb Pugh netted six points to go with one rebound and two assists. Kade Palmer rounded out the scoring for San Juan with four points while pulling down four rebounds.
Game two of the tournament found the Broncos facing the Eagles of Layton Christian. San Juan started off slow, but were down just one point after the first quarter, 13-12.
The Eagles built on that lead in the second quarter, as the Broncos turned the ball over far too many times resulting in a nine point quarter. All this while the Eagles rolled up 23 points to take a commanding 36-21 lead into the intermission
For the second day in a row, San Juan struggled to score coming out of the break, resulting in just seven points in the third.
Improved defense after the half helped the Broncos hold the Eagles to 16 points, but their own lack of scoring resulted in Layton Christian extending the lead to 52-37.
Just as it seemed San Juan was done for, the Broncos rallied, cutting the lead to just eight points late in the third quarter before Layton Christian answered and halted the comeback attempt.
Eventually, the Eagles would pull away from the free throw line where they shot 11 or 13 for 84 percent. The Broncos had their best quarter of the game offensively, scoring 30 points. Once again it was too little too late as the Eagles managed to score 23 points to claim the 75-58 victory.
Lopez once again led the Broncos with 20 points, five rebound and five steals. Lewis was next with 12 points, followed by Blake who had ten points to go with three boards.
Morley tossed in eight points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Palmer finished with four points and three rebounds. Barton and Pugh each scored two points with Pugh grabbing four rebounds while Barton had three.
Once again, the end of a season means we say good-bye to the seniors. All five of the seniors brought something special to the team and left us with some great memories.
Thank you for all your hard work and dedication and for sharing your talents with all those who had the opportunity to see you play. DiQuan, Max, Kesian, Kade and Jonathon, thanks for the memories and good luck in all you choose to do in the future.