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Pirates finish season at state in 7th place

Erick Mendez.

Sports Writer

Layton Christian defeated Bryce Valley for the Utah State 1-A boy's basketball championship in Richfield at the Sevier Valley Center 64-58 to culminate the high school season. Bryce Valley had been the top-ranked team most of the season but Layton Christian would not be denied this season. Wayne High defeated Rich in the game for third and fourth by the score of 56-49.

Green River went to Richfield with a 17-4 season record and returned home after playing four games in four days in the seventh-place slot. Liahona defeated the Pirates on the final day 75-43.

Green River opened the tournament on Wednesday morning playing the winner of the previous night's play-in game. After Valley defeated Wendover, Green River played Valley and snuck out a win in the final quarter of play. The Pirates won 37-35.

After leading 9-7 after the first quarter of play, Green River did not score in the second quarter of play and trailed 20-9 at the half. Justin Johnson led the effort with 13 points followed by Spencer Marshall with 9, Erick Mendez with 6, Nick Corrigan with 4, TJ Hughes with 3 and Adrian Escalante with 2 points.

On Thursday, Green River faced Rich in a quarterfinal match-up. Rich had defeated Piute on Wednesday to get to this game. The game was neck and neck through about a quarter and half until the Pirate shooters went cold and Rich went on a 10-0 run.

After trailing 14-13 after the first quarter, Green River trailed at the half 34-26. After three periods the score was 47-35. In the final period, Green River narrowed the gap to 47-42 only for Rich to close out the game on a 15-7 run.

Johnson regained his scoring form and led the team with 29 points. Marshall scored 8, Escalante scored 6, Jordan Olsen scored 3, Hughes 2 and Mendez 1 point.

On Friday, the Pirates defeated Tabiona to stay alive in the tournament with the final score being 71-62. Johnson scored 30 points to propel the Pirates past their opponent. After trailing at the half 29-25, Green River won the third quarter 26-8 to break open a close game and then the Pirates cruised home in the final period for the win.

Also scoring in this game were Marshall with 13 points, Mendez with 12, Hughes with 6 and Corrigan and Olsen with 5 points each. On Saturday, Liahona won every period in grabbing the game for fifth place. Johnson scored 40 points in the final game but only two teammates were able to get on the board to help him. Mendez scored 2 points and Hughes scored 1 point. Johnson averaged 28 points a game in Richfield after averaging 34 points a game throughout the season.

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