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SALT LAKE CITY — It was another dominant performance for one Mr. Shorts. Stockton Shorts, that is.
Shorts led the Copper Hills Grizzlies to an easy win over the Weber Warriors by a score of 62-41. The big guard scored 17 points and picked up 7 rebounds on 7-for-15 shooting.
The Warriors came out and surprised Copper Hills with a triangle-and-two defense, predicated on stopping Shorts' aggression in driving inside. That worked for approximately two possessions. Then, Shorts worked the ball through his teammates, giving Copper Hills a 12-2 lead that they never looked back from.
"You always get a little nervous at the beginning when teams come out with a gimmick defense to throw a wrench into it," said Grizzlies head coach Andrew Blanchard. "But we've seen that in region and we were prepared for it."
Connor Shaw was the leading Weber scorer with 11 points, albeit on only 4-of-12 shooting.
Even though the Warriors keyed on Shorts, he still scored his points thanks to backcuts in the space given by the weird defensive look. And the Grizzlies dominated inside, winning the points in the paint battle by a count of 38-12.
"Our philosophy was to come out and punch them in the mouth," Shorts said. "Get that early lead. We know we're good enough down the stretch."
Copper Hills now moves on to face the Layton Lancers in the 5A boys basketball quarterfinals, to be played at Weber State University on Wednesday.
And on Shorts' night, appropriately enough, the game itself was short, lasting just an hour and six minutes at the Huntsman Center Monday night. "It just gives us momentum going into the tournament," Shorts said.