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Sky View claims Region 11 title in rally over Ridgeline, 57-50

Nothing worthwhile comes easy, and the Sky View Bobcats were reminded of that on Friday night.

Sky View boys basketball had spent most of the season in Region 11 as the team in front, but the spectacle of Senior Night and a home crowd packed to rafters didn’t stop the visiting Ridgeline Riverhawks from throwing the Bobcats on the ropes for much of the first half. Nevertheless, Sky View ground out a 15-point comeback and owned the fourth quarter en route to a 57-50 victory. The win secured a Region 11 title for the Bobcats, their second in three years, with two games still to go in the regular season.

“That was a huge test tonight,” Sky View coach Kirk Hillyard said. “Ridgeline came out, and they played really well in the first half. We didn’t have many possessions where we could let them score in the second half. For us to come out of something like that, credit to our rebounding and our defense in the second half.”

It didn’t happen all at once for Sky View, which entered the halftime break trailing, 37-28, only after ending the half on a 13-4 run. Prior to that, the Riverhawks had collectively socked the Bobcats in the mouth, going on a 19-2 scoring run through parts of the first and second quarters.

“Going into halftime, our goal was to slowly chip away,” senior guard Carter Davis said. “We were not going to get it back all in one shot or defensive stop. (We) just slowly got back in the game.”

The Bobcats did exactly that —chip away— as they slowly and almost unnoticeably turned a 9-point deficit into a 4-point deficit, 46-42, by the end of the third quarter.

When the fourth quarter started, Sky View’s forward momentum turned into a downhill barrage, beginning with a layup by Carter Davis, followed by a timely and dynamic defensive effort to force a shot clock violation by the Riverhawks. Carter’s brother, junior guard Tanner Davis, tied the game, 46-46, with a layup. He got the ball again on the next possession, and he buried a 3-pointer to give the Bobcats their first lead of the game among thunderous roars of a previously silent Sky View crowd. They did not trail again.

Carter Davis, who scored just 9 points in the Bobcats prior game against Ridgeline, broke out for a Senior Night special as he led all scorers with a season-high 23 points, backed up by Tanner Davis with 12 points. While Carter was a consistent scoring threat throughout the game, Tanner scored 10 points in the second half to fuel the rally.

Junior guard Carson Cox led the Riverhawks with 17 points, while seniors Luke Sorensen and Grady Workman scored 14 and 10, respectively.

After the initial tipoff and prior to the game beginning in earnest, both teams joined together for a few possessions to start Sky View senior Jackson Howell, one of the Bobcats’ team managers who has special needs. Howell sank two layups amid supportive cheers from Sky View and Ridgeline spectators alike.

The Bobcats moved to 18-2 overall and remained undefeated in region play at 8-0. They’ll be on the road to face Green Canyon on Feb. 15.

Ridgeline fell to 15-4 with a 6-2 region mark. The Riverhawks return home to face Mountain Crest on Feb. 15.

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