SHELLEY – Shelley Boys Basketball played the Minico Spartans last Friday night, December 10, at home in a low-scoring game that featured last-second scoring shots at the end of three quarters and a game-ending score no one expected.
The Russet (3-0) entered Friday night’s game with solid wins against three non-conference opponents. In all three performances, the Russets shot well and defended well inside. So, it appeared they would have a home-court advantage against the Minico Spartans (2-0) of Rupert.
The game began with both teams sinking three-pointers, with Spartan Klayton Wilson sinking a three-pointer at the last second of the first quarter. The quarter ended with a tie.
Shelley held the Spartans to 5 points for most of the second quarter while struggling with ball control to add 5 of their own. Then, Spartan Klayton Wilson drove to the basket, scoring 2 points at the last second of the half, leaving Shelley at 14 and Minco at 15.
The Russets defended the Spartans well in the third quarter, allowing only 2 points. At the same time, they sunk two 3-pointers and two shots inside. However, Spartans’ Easton Arthur dropped a 3-point attempt at the quarter buzzer, making the score 22 – 20.
Canyon Alphin and Alex Lott defend against Minico shooters. Photos by Mike Whiteley
The Russets struggled to work the ball inside, despite a relatively solid defense during the fourth quarter. They held the Spartans to 5 points but only managed 3 points of their own coming from free-throw shots.
With 20 seconds left on the clock, Russet Canyon Alphin deflected an inbound pass from Spartan Easton Arthur back into his hands as he stood out of bounds, giving Shelley the ball.
The Spartans committed two fouls after Shelley received the ball, driving the clock down to 5 seconds.
After a time out, Russet Peyton Maynard passed the ball into Cannon Vance, who drove for the basket. However, the ball bounced off a Spartan’s foot, shooting it out to mid-court. With less than two seconds on the clock, Russet Devin Maldonado picked up the rolling ball and shot it five feet behind the 3-point line to sink the winning basket as the buzzer rang.
The cellar erupted in a hail of cheers as the Russet bench and student section ran to the floor to congratulate Maldonado on his excellent shot.
Maldonado was the higher scorer of the game with 12 points. Spartan Klayton Wilson had 7 points.
Shelley plays Skyline at home Tuesday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m.