OGDEN — Dyson Koehler didn’t have a great half of basketball for Jordan during the Beetdiggers’ Class 6A state semifinal Friday night at Weber State.
The forward who averages 23.2 points per game shot just 1-of-6 from the field for 4 points before the break, and Jordan trailed 32-25 to East.
But boy, was he money down the stretch.
Koehler finished with a team-high 22 points, six rebounds, four assists and three blocks, and Micah Ashman added 17 points to help Jordan rally for a 60-52 win over the Leopards at Weber State University.
“He’s too unselfish at times. He’s got to be demanding the ball,” Jordan coach Trace Bevell said of Koehler. “In their zone, he just floats around … and he’s got to take the bull by the horns, and just lead us.
“I tell him all the time that coach-led teams are good teams — but player-led teams are great teams. These players have to lead.”
Terryn Mosley added 10 points and three blocks for Jordan (18-8), which will face Corner Canyon in its first state final since 2003.
Taylor Zwick led East (15-11) with 18 points, and teammate Kok Daw added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Andre Mulibea supplied 13 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Leopards.
East opened the second quarter on a 6-0 run, turning a 17-15 edge into a 23-15 advantage in just over two minutes of game time.
The Leopards held Jordan scoreless from the field until the four minute mark of the second quarter. The Beetdiggers pulled within four on back-to-back 3-pointers, 27-23 a few moments later. But East took a 32-25 lead into the break by holding the Beetdiggers to one field goal in the final three minutes of the half.
“They were better than us in the first half. There’s no question about it,” Bevell said. “We had to refocus at halftime, communicate better, and get tougher. They bulldozed us. They were tougher than we were. But I thought we came out in the second half, and played better. We made some shots, and just had a slow start. But we held them to 52 points, and 51 is the goal.”
Don’t count out Jordan in a close game, either.
Ashman capped a 6-0 spurt midway through the third quarter to tie the game at 36-36. The Beetdiggers held East to just three third-quarter field goals — and yet, the Leopards had a 41-39 edge after three quarters.
Koehler took over down the stretch, though.
The 6-foot-6 junior scored or assisted on nine-straight points to give the Beetdiggers a 55-47 lead with 35 seconds left, and Jordan iced through Tevita Mafileo from the free-throw line.
The Beetdiggers will face Corner Canyon at 7:30 p.m. in a state title game for the first time since Jordan lost to Alta, 65-53 in the 2003 5A championship.
“We’re seeing Corner Canyon tomorrow night for the third time,” said Bevell, whose team went 2-0 against the Chargers in the regular season. “They’re really, really good. We’ve just got to bring it home.”