AROUND THE STATE — Welcome to the playoffs.
With the advent of Presidents’ Day, the state of Utah is once again thrust into the push for several state basketball titles with the beginning of the Class 5A and 6A girls hoops postseason at Salt Lake Community College.
Boys basketball teams are right around the corner, including the 2A tournament this week at Weber State.
That also means that region titles are being crowned right now — and many of them in dramatic, last-second fashion.
Here are some of the best moments from the key plays of the week. As always, click the video above for all of the Great Clips of the Week.
Dyson in the dying moments
Jordan’s Region 7 finale Friday night at Corner Canyon was one for the ages.
Down one at 47-46 with seconds left to go, the Beetdiggers had one last shot to clinch an outright region title. That’s when Dyson Koehler came around off a screen and delivered in dramatic fashion.
The 6-foot-7 junior hit an off-balance 3-pointer from the corner as time expired to lift Jordan to a region title and No. 1 seed in next week’s Class 5A state tournament, 49-47 at Corner Canyon.
Confession: this shot by Dyson Koehler of @PrepDiggers last Friday has us excited for the @UHSAAinfo state tournament.
Bookmark https://t.co/bKoCp6TAQ3 now and don’t miss a second. pic.twitter.com/5TvXm8z0z5
— KSL.com Sports (@KSLcomSports) February 18, 2019
Koehler had 22 points, including six 3-pointers, to go along with seven rebounds and two steals that night — but nothing bigger than the shot that sent his teammates and classmates into a frenzy as they rushed a rival’s court.
Soak it up, Jordan; you’re going to the playoffs with a 16-7 record, the Region 7 title at 8-2 and the league’s No. 1 seed. Corner Canyon will be the two-seed with a 6-4 mark in league play.
Speaking of game winners …
Timberwolves top Falcons in stunning fashion
Last Wednesday’s game between Timpanogos and Skyridge didn’t necessarily decide a region title.
But a ridiculous game-winner by Colin Christensen shouldn’t be belittled by such trivial matters.
With 20.6 seconds left and a tie game, 43-43, Christensen drove the ball into the lane and released a running floater that bounced off the rim and fell through the net for a thrilling 45-43 road victory that handed the Falcons their first loss of the year in Region 8 play.
“It was so loud,” Christensen told Provo’s Daily Herald after the game. “I didn’t care who took the last shot but it happened to be open. I crossed over and just made a lucky shot. It rolled around and went down, so I’m happy for our team that we won.”
Both teams have one game remaining this week, Skyridge at 7-14 Springville and the Timberwolves against 11-12 Wasatch, as the top two teams in Region 8 set on identical 8-1 records in region play.
We’re hoping the No. 1 seed will be decided by a penalty-kick shoot (kidding … mostly).
The 5A state tournament opens Feb. 26 at Weber State.
A class in 2A
And finally, why should the larger classifications have all the fun?
This weekend marked the beginning of the Class 2A boys basketball tournament, where Rowland Hall survived a furious second-half comeback by Gunnison Valley to win at the buzzer inside Snow College’s gym.
The Region 17 top seed was on the ropes, as the Bulldogs rallied to tie the game at 60-all in the final minute. But Zander Smith had 10 seconds left after a timeout and just enough time for a baseline floater that fell through the net as time expired to send the Winged Lions through to the second round with a 62-60 win.
We have buzzer-beaters in the @UHSAAinfo 2A boys basketball tournament, as @RowlandHall survives Gunnison.
Watch the whole tournament live on @KSLcom ➡️ https://t.co/rr6uGpSwjypic.twitter.com/KD7ugPuiMD
— KSL.com Sports (@KSLcomSports) February 16, 2019
Smith had six points, and Isaiah Adams led Rowland with 21 in the victory. The Winged Lions will face Region 18 second seed Beaver in Thursday’s quarterfinals at Weber State.
All games of the 2019 state boys basketball tournament will be streamed on live.ksl.com.