American Fork boys outlast Corner Canyon to claim 6A crown

American Fork celebrates their 6A boys basketball state championship win against Corner Canyon at BYU in Provo on Saturday, March 5, 2022.

American Fork celebrates their 6A boys basketball state championship win against Corner Canyon at BYU in Provo on Saturday, March 5, 2022. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

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PROVO — In the final game of the high school basketball season, the 10th-seeded Caveman of American Fork looked to upset No. 2-seeded Corner Canyon.

After a low-scoring first half, the Chargers trailed but started the second half strong with an 8-2 run to tie the game with five minutes left to play in the third quarter. It was Corner Canyons first chance to take a lead since the first quarter, but American Fork wouldn't allow it to happen.

The Cavemen went on 10-2 run to close out the third quarter, with their length and athleticism on defense making it difficult on the Chargers offense.

Two 3-pointers by Tyler Burraston and one by Charges center Brody Kolzlowski gave Corner Canyon the lead in the fourth quarter with under four minutes left to play. Over their next few possessions, though, the Cavemen made a few trips to the free-throw line to take a 43-39 lead with under 30 seconds left in the game.

The Chargers proceeded to get a great look at the basketball but couldn't get it to go and were forced to foul Caveman senior Noah Moeaki with six seconds left. The future BYU Cougar linebacker sank both free throws to put the game out of reach and to give American Fork a 43-39 win.

"You just get so excited for these kids because it's all about them and it's a moment they're going to have for the rest of their lives." Cavemen head coach Ryan Cuff said. "I consider all of them my sons and I appreciate all the hard work and effort they put in."

The effort and commitment to not just trying to win is exactly why Cuff believes they were able to win.

"They came together at the right time," he said. "We had a tough schedule, and they knew they couldn't do it alone, so they came together. I'm just so proud of them that they were able to lock hearts at the right time."

Cuff wasn't the only Cavemen who echoed that sentiment.

"We had a lot of ups and downs during the season, but we knew we could do it all along, and I'm so glad we got it done," Moeaki said. "We really came together as a team, and by the end of year we grew to love each other so much."

American Fork's early season struggles highlight their No. 10 seed, but it doesn't tell the full story. The Cavemen began the year by playing some of the top teams in the country during nonconference play, with Moeaki missing the first few games of the December. But Moeaki is no stranger to deep tournament runs since he started as a freshmen on American Fork's 2019 state championship team.

"We worked so hard to get back here, and I'm just so happy to get two championships because I love rings and I love this place — go Cougs," Moeaki said.

The senior forward may have been fired up, but no one might have been as excited as Caveman senior guard Even Young, who once the final horn sounded proceeded to climb up on top of the rim and stand on it.

"Back in 1989 my dad won the state championship with Timpview and did that, so I just had to follow in his footsteps," Young said.

The senior made an impact on both ends of the floor and accounted for 7 points and generating multiple charging fouls on the defensive end. Young, like Moeaki, also believes the biggest reason they were able to win is the unique bond the team shares.

"I absolutely love each and every player on this team," Young said. "We're just family we really are brothers, and it still feels unreal. This has been the best experience of my life."


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