by Colton Hager
Offensively, it has been a struggle to spark the offense at times during the season for Legend, which has showed in previous games in some frustrating losses to ThunderRidge and Regis, and again in the game against Rock Canyon Tuesday night.
On a night when it took the offense a while to find its groove against Rock Canyon, it appeared that this would be another crucial blow to the Titans’ season with playoffs coming up in the next week.
“This game was one of the most nerve racking games that I have ever played in my four years of playing basketball at Legend. At this point in the season I am comfortable with our team with playoffs coming up,” said senior Danny Garrick, whose team is now 7-2 in conference play and 16-5 overall.
Senior Riley Matticks led the way with 22 points for the Titans, including clutch free throw shooting throughout the game to keep the game in their grasp. The senior point guard had four assists along with a long two- pointer to tie the game at 65-65 with 11.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
After trailing 23-33 at half, the Titans went on a 7-0 run to open up the third quarter, to pull within 30-33 with 2:46 minutes remaining in the third. The Titans and Jaguars played a back and forth game that went down to the wire.
Senior Jared Small intercepted a lazy pass from the Jaguars at the top of the key in the opening drive of the fourth quarter and raced down the court for a slam-dunk to put the Titans up by 1, along with energizing the crowd and his teammates.
“Defensively we pulled through once again when our offense wasn’t at its full potential,” Boley said. “ I thought our players executed the defensive game plan great.”
After giving up a long three pointer, the Jaguars led 63-62 with 16.3 seconds remaining in the fourth. Matticks raced down the court to draw a foul, and rewarded his team with the lead of 64-63 with 9.1 seconds remaining.
The Jaguars scored a quick transition two-pointer leaving the clock with 3.2 seconds, with the Titans trailing 65-64. Matticks drew a foul on the full court press by the Jaguars, receiving the opportunity to give his team the lead with .6 seconds on the clock, sinking both of his free throws to put the game on ice with a score of 66-65.
“I was really proud of the guys. The game with playoffs around the corner is always tough because of the atmosphere and pressure. Coach Kent Grams does a phenomenal job and keeps the game interesting on both ends of the floor,” Boley said.