Woods Cross boys basketball off to strong start in Region 5 playJan 30, 2023 01:27PM ● By Josh McFadden
Bonneville Head Coach Kyle Bullinger points out the location of an altercation while the Ref indicates Incidental Contact. The Lakers, behind a strong First Quarter, beat the Vikings 59-55, Jan. 20. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle
After two weeks of region games, the Woods Cross boys basketball team is the only undefeated team in league games in Region 5.
As this week began, the Wildcats were 3-0 in Region 5, a game ahead of Box Elder and Bonneville. Overall, Woods Cross has amassed an impressive 12-3 mark.
Last week, Woods Cross won a pair of league games, the first coming against rival Bountiful at home. The Wildcats prevailed convincingly by the count of 66-52 after trailing 26-23 at halftime.
The second half was all Wildcats.
Woods Cross outscored the Redhawks 23-14 in the third quarter and 20-12 in the fourth to notch another win. Woods Cross went 8–10 from the foul line, while Bountiful lost despite making 23 of 43 shots from the field. Mason Bendinger paced Woods Cross with 22 points. He also had three rebounds and three assists. Cade Eberhardt had 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Jaxon Smith contributed 12 points, while Alex Brey had six points and eight boards. For Bountiful, Carson Smith racked up 19 points and pulled down four rebounds. Sam Stevenson had a good all-around game, posting 13 points, four rebounds and eight assists.
The Wildcats also defeated Northridge last week, winning 82-70 at home in a high-scoring game on Jan. 20. The two teams combined for 44 points in the first quarter alone, as Woods Cross built a 24-30 advantage. The Wildcats were up 42-34 at the break and stayed on top throughout the contest. They also missed just one of their 14 free-throw attempts. Bendinger once again led the team with 25 points. Will Campbell had 17 points, and Eberhardt and Jaxon Smith scored 15 and 14, respectively.
Following its loss to Woods Cross, Bountiful lost at home to Box Elder, 65-49. The defeat dropped the Redhawks to 1-2 in league play and 5-9 overall. Bountiful was ahead 13-11 after one quarter, but Box Elder turned the tables from there. The bees shot 28 free throws to Bountiful’s three. Carson Smith had a game-high 18 points for Bountiful. He also chipped in six rebounds and four assists. Faletau Satuala had 10 points for Bountiful.
The Redhawks played at Bonneville on Wednesday (after our press deadline) and next travel to Northridge to play the Knights.
As for Woods Cross, it played at Viewmont on Wednesday and hosts Bonneville on Friday.
The 6-10 Vikings picked up their first Region 5 victory of the season last week. On Jan. 18, Viewmont took care of Northridge 73-64 on the road. A strong first quarter got the team off to a good start, as Viewmont was up 21-12 after the first six minutes.
After going up 41-31 at halftime, Northridge made a comeback and cut the Viking lead to 54-53 at the end of the third quarter. That’s when the Vikings closed out the game with a 19-11 fourth quarter.
Viewmont shot 50% from the field and got 21 points and six rebounds from Drez Johnson. Jaxon Heusser had 14 points of his own. But it was Scott Noel’s double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds that turned heads. It was the fifth double-double of the season for the senior. Not to be outdone, teammate Mitch Jeppesen had a double-double too. His stat line read 10 points and 10 rebounds, not to mention five assists.
Two nights later, Viewmont lost to Bonneville 59-55 to fall to 1-2 in Region 5. The Vikings had a hard time recovering from a 12-8 first-quarter hole. However, the team did make a valiant run in the fourth quarter, cutting into a 41-31 lead with 24 points in the final six minutes. Noel had a game-high 22 points, while Jensen had 11 points and four assists.
Viewmont hosted Woods Cross on Wednesday. Next up is a contest at Box Elder on Friday.