Just three nights after one of its worst performances of the year, a 17-point loss to Maple Mountain, the Wasps came back with an inspired, upbeat game against the favored Bulldogs.
Wasatch scored first and never relented, using strong defense and a wise offensive game plan to keep Provo frustrated and out of the game. The Wasps outscored the visitors in the first three quarters opening up a 15-point advantage going into the final frame. The home team still managed its highest point total of the night in the fourth despite allowing the Bulldogs to cut it a little closer. It was an all around great game for Wasatch.
“I’m happy for the guys,” said first year head coach, Jason Long. “They deserved this. They worked hard for it. Their first 4A win… they played really well.”
The Wasps hadn’t showed their best so far in regular season play dropping to 0-3 to start the campaign. But with an obvious display of determination, Wasatch would not be denied on this night.
Behind the strong play of junior forward Nate Dow, and the explosive performance from senior point guard Jeff Murdock, the home team showed what is perhaps a glimpse of the type of turnaround that propelled them into the postseason last year.
“We knew we had to come out confident and play a really good game,” stated Murdock. “We haven’t really played that well so far and it’s been frustrating because we know we can do so much better.”
“Coach emphasized a three E’s approach—effort, execution and enthusiasm… that we believe if we stick to we’ll play our best basketball,” the co-captain added. “That’s really all we can control. We did that tonight and you see the result.”
Murdock, who nailed a three-quarter court ‘Hail Mary’ at the first half buzzer, poured in 21 points. Dow, who is finding his groove after early season injuries, also scored 21 and dominated in the paint with nine rebounds. Senior Casey Peterson added 10 points and six boards for the Wasps.