The word on the street is that Ogden High School has a quality boys basketball team this year. Bear River High School can now confirm that the rumors are true. The Bears traveled down I-15 Friday afternoon to Harrison Blvd. to challenge the Tigers and were met with the most inhospitable reception. The Tigers lived up to all the hype as the Clarke brothers were as advertised and led Ogden in scoring (16 and 13 pts.) and defensively as their length and athleticism disrupted the Bear offense. Bear River did not go away quietly however and provided some drama in the fourth quarter as they made a furious run to cut a 20 point defict to just 7 points with the ball. However, in the end, the Bear run just cost too much energy and the team could not muster the required execution down the stretch to pull off what would have been an impressive come-from-behind victory.
Ogden jumped out to a fast and furious start as they hit a couple of quick three’s and held the Bears scoreless. After a quick timeout the Bear River boys made a turnaround and cut the deficit to just a couple as Mike Litchford, Gavin Fronk and Jake Dahle got in the scoring column. However after another three and some strong inside play by Ogden’s Richardson the first quarter ended 17-10.
Bear River played the Tigers even during the second period with Mike leading the way with six points and a pair of three’s by Mark Huber and Caleb Jensen kept the game within striking distance throughout the first half.
The third quarter saw the game slip away from Bear River as the Tigers came out of the locker-room on fire. Hunter Clarke did most of the damage as he nailed 3 three-point shots and ignited the Ogden student-body as the Tigers began to pull away. Ogden’s switching man-to-man defense was extremely effective and made it difficult for the Bears to run their offense. Finding themselves down by 20 at 50-30, Bear River called a time-out and changed their defensive strategy and employed a full-court trap coupled with a half-court trap as the ball passed mid-court. Parker Coombs entered the line-up and made some plays that seemed to ignite the Bear River team. The momentum seemed to carry over in to the fourth quarter as The Bears cut the margin to seven.
As many may realize, a full court defense and a fullscale run on a leading team requires a massive amount of energy. Too often a run falls just short as the charging team seems to run out of gas just as they are about to overtake the leading team. This appeared to happen to the Bear friday night. Trailing by seven and in possession of the ball with 3:30 remaing in the fourth quarter (plenty of time trailing by just seven), Bear River missed a basline jumper and Ogden nailed a three on the ensuing possession which seemed to take all of the remaining air out the the Bears sails. Bear River gave a valiant effort to stay in the game and make it competitive but Ogden was just too talented on this night. Ogden made a couple of meaningless baskets to close the game and Bear River took a 67-53 loss.
Mike Litchford led the Bear offense with 20 points followed by Parker Coombs off the bench with 10, MarK Huber with 8 and Gunner Sorensen with 7.
The Bear River JV, Sophomores and Freshmen were all victorious.