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SALT LAKE CITY — Get a big lead early, and just hold on.
West Jordan surprised Sky View with tremendous defense and its own scoring punch, moving on to the 5A quarterfinals by a 69-63 score.
The 19-3 Bobcats were the favorites and the No. 1 qualifier from Region 1 at the Huntsman Center, but West Jordan didn't approach the game with an underdog's mentality.
"Our mentality is that we believed we were coming up here to win, and we didn't think it would be an upset," said West Jordan head coach Scott Briggs.
"We were really pumped up to go, and we thought we could beat these guys," said Darrian Nebeker, leading scorer for the Jaguars with 19 points. "They were really good, but we just thought we could beat them."
It started with a bang. The Jaguars outscored the Bobcats 22-8 in the first quarter, thanks to some pretty passing, lots of offensive rebounds and some very good shot-making. "We made some shots, and they didn't," Briggs said of his team's early lead. "We were fortunate."
Sky View fought back in the second quarter to cut the lead to four at halftime, but a composed West Jordan offense stayed strong. That was especially true on the glass, where the Jaguars outrebounded the Bobcats 14-7 and held a 21-7 advantage on second-chance points.
Payton Falslev led Sky View with 23 points. Mason Falslev, against whom West Jordan played ball-denial defense, scored 19 despite the best efforts of the Jaguars.
West Jordan will play the Pleasant Grove Vikings at Weber State on Wednesday in the 5A quarterfinals.
"They think they belonged to play on Wednesday night, and I agree with them," Briggs said.