Timpview’s home and away student sections were loud and filled as the Thunderbirds hosted the Orem Tigers Tuesday evening.
It was one of the most anticipated games of the season for Orem and Timpview, who both stood at the top of Region 7 with 4-0 records.
However, the Orem Tigers broke the tie with a 66-48 road win over the Thunderbirds.
“I think we were just excited to play,” said Orem head coach Jace Tavita. “Obviously, we got it rolling, we were 4-0 and they were 4-0, so we knew this was a big region game for us and a big, I guess you could say rivalry game. We are two neighboring schools, so I think we were just excited and anxious to get out there and play.”
Despite the lopsided final score, the game was neck and neck through three-quarters of basketball. The game was tied 14-14 after the first quarter and tied 25-25 at halftime.
Tavita knew that if he wanted to pull the game away, his team would need to be more aggressive in the second half.
“During halftime, we just told the boys to just stick to the game plan and keep trusting and believing in the game plan defensively and offensively,” said Tavita. “We knew if we just stuck to that eventually they would break.”
Orem executed in the second half and held Timpview to just seven total second-half field goals.
Tigers wing Tate Robinson punched in some timely 3-pointers in the third quarter to help put his team up 37-35 at the end of the quarter.
“Whenever I catch it, my coach and my teammates have so much confidence in me and that builds my confidence,” said Robinson. “So, when I’m open, I shoot it, which gives me the confidence to know it’s going in and it’s such a fun feeling when it does.”
However, the slim two-point lead didn’t last long as Orem’s offense exploded in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers’ Asher Young had some early fourth-quarter buckets and took a charge to push the game within eight.
Then, once again Robinson came up with two 3-pointers to push the game to double digits and put the Thunderbirds away.
Robinson and Young led Orem in scoring with 15 points each, while Robinson knocked down five shots from beyond the arc.
“Everybody loves to play Timpview, at Timpview, making clutch buckets, that’s always fun,” said Robinson. “When we’re at 100% and everybody’s buying into their roles, we’re deadly. We can make a run against anybody; we can beat anybody, and we all believe that.”
The Tigers outscored the Thunderbirds 29-13 in the fourth quarter for the 66-48 road win.
“It was just guys being aggressive, getting comfortable seeing that zone,” said Tavita. “We saw it through three quarters, so I think guys were just seeing the gaps in that zone and just trying to attack it.”
“It’s good as a coach when you challenge your team to come out and just play in these big-time games. It’s a big atmosphere and to see them rise to the occasion, it’s just great.”
With the win, Orem takes control of the top spot in Region 7 with a 5-0 region record. Not only has Orem not lost to a region foe, but it’s also outscoring region opponents by 17.6 points per game.
“We can be as good as we want to be,” said Tavita. “We’re just trying to focus on getting better and playing our best basketball when it counts. So, I feel good about the progress we’ve been making, and I just challenge our guys to just keep improving.”