<strong>OGDEN—</strong> A botched regular season finale and a couple of play-in games later, the Logan boy’s basketball team delivered one of the biggest upsets in 4A history Tuesday, as the Grizzlies knocked off defending 4A champion and tournament favorite Orem, 65-60.
Tyler Brimhall led all scorers with 23 points – including going 5-of-7 from beyond the arc – as Logan nearly led from start to finish in the shocking upset. The Grizzlies used solid defense and lights out shooting – especially in the first half – en route to the win.
“This is the greatest win I’ve ever been a part of,” Grizzly head coach Logan Brown said.
The Grizzlies generated offense early and often as they jumped out to a 20-11 lead in the first quarter. Orem was able to close the gap to four before the end of the first period, but Logan would maintain its lead throughout the first half. Red hot shooting from 3-point land aided the Grizzlies as they connected on an incredible 8-of-12 shots from beyond the arc in the first half.
Though Brimhall led Logan with five 3’s, Dallin Dahl and Jordan Larsen each added two from long range, while Brett Dickson added one of his own. As a team, the Grizzlies finished 10-of-17 from long range, and none was bigger than Brimhall’s shot from the corner with 1:30 left in the game.
“That 3 he hit in the corner in the fourth was just huge,” Brown said. “It gave us a five point lead, and I couldn’t be more proud of Tyler because he kind of struggled a little bit in region and I felt like his confidence was a little bit down. We weren’t seeing the Tyler Brimhall we were capable of seeing. The last two weeks he’s really turned it on, and it’s amazing what confidence can do.”
Brimhall’s shot capped a 9-2 Logan run that gave the Grizzlies a 56-51 lead after Orem’s Zach Hunsaker had put the Golden Tigers on top 49-47 for the first time in the second half. Orem tried to play the foul game down the stretch, but Logan was up to the challenge as the Grizzlies Dahl, Taylor Compton, Luke Falk, and Brimhall all connected on free throws down the stretch. As a team, the Grizzlies finished the game 17-of-19 from the charity stripe.
After building the first quarter lead, Logan (14-11, 4-6) exchanged blows with Orem in the second quarter. The Golden Tigers were led by Division I prospect Dalton Nixon, who finished with a team high 17 points and eight rebounds. He had to work for his shots though, and he never really got rolling from long range. At the half, the Grizzlies led 38-33.
Following the intermission, the Grizzlies didn’t back down any and really didn’t even cool off. Foul trouble started to catch up to Logan though, as Falk, Larsen, and Dickson all had four by the end of the quarter. The Golden Tigers were able to inch closer as well, closing to within three, 47-44.
Orem (20-4, 13-1) continued to pressure Logan, but was unable to pull ahead until Hunsaker’s 3-pointer with about four minutes left in the game. The Grizzlies tied the game up at 51 with 3:11 remaining, and then it was all Brimhall from there as the sophomore drove down the line and scooped it up and in to retake the lead before hitting the huge corner 3 on the ensuing possession.
“ We’ve played in a lot of tight games,” Brown said. “I told our guys when it was knotted up there with a minute or two to go in the game, ‘Who’s been in more tight games, us or them?’ We’ve been there, it’s just another walk in the park for us, we’ve just got to go finish it.”
Logan was able to celebrate the win with more than 1,100 students as the Grizzlies bused students down to Weber State University where the tournament is taking place. The homecourt advantage was noticeable, and provided a huge boost for the underdogs.
“One thing we talked about is being fearless and having poise – understanding we can go beat these guys,” Brown said. “They’re very beatable, they’re tough, you look at them and they’ve got guys that are going to go on and play at the next level that are really good. We can’t be afraid, and we weren’t.”
With the win, the Grizzlies – who won two play-in games in two nights just for the chance to face the Golden Tigers – advance to face East (18-6, 6-4) on Thursday at 4:10 p.m. The Leopards advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Murray, 68-62, in the first game of the day.