After starting the season on a five-game losing streak, the Trojan basketball team have found their way as they placed second place in the Riverton Holiday Tournament held at Riverton High School.
The Trojans beat teams from both the 4A and 5A classifications, finally falling to Timpview in the title game late on Tuesday night.
Back-to-back wins over old region foes Ogden and Ben Lomond gave the team some confidence as they headed to their first trip to the annual holiday tournament which gives local fans a chance to see some of Northern Utah’s best players showcase their talent.
The Trojans started the tournament on a hot streak as they put Timpanogos away early in the first half. Bridger Streadbeck led the team in scoring as he poured in 19 while both Ben Saunders and Garren Miles contributed 14 points. The team shot 57.4 percent from the field, making the best out of the open looks they were given. The final score was 66-51, setting up a match-up with Hunter, a team that they will play in just a few weeks.
Last year, teams had to game plan on stopping 3A MVP Jake Miles, but it was another Miles who gave his best MJ impression on the court. Garren, the cousin of Jake, poured in a career-high 31 points in a game where the Trojans had to fight back from an early deficit.
The Wolverines were lead by the 23 points of Noah Togiai, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the ever-improving Trojans. Miles put on a show in the fourth quarter as he scored 14 of their 25 points. The Trojans scored a second win in the tournament.
But the Trojans weren’t done as they had the chance to play against the host of the tournanment, Riverton, in the semifinal game. Four quarters wasn’t enough for the teams to settle the score, but the Trojans were able to edge out the Silverwolves 79-75. Riverton was able to take a lead into half time, but the Trojans continued to chip away just enough to force the game into overtime. They were paced behind the 21 points of Saunders and 20 from Miles. Jeff Arens lead all scorers with 23 points but couldn’t lift his team into the championship game, as that honor belonged to the Trojans.
But the Trojans five-game winning streak was put to the test from Timpview, a team that had just returned from a tournament in Las Vegas. For the first time in the tournament, the Trojans allowed the other team to get out to an early lead, allowing them to go on a 7-0 run. The Trojans were not going away as they tried their hardest to chip away at the Thunderbirds’ lead.
In the end, the 14 points from Hunter Stanford and Miles wasn’t enough to start the new year on a winning note. The Thunderbirds won the championship 73-55, while Miles was named to the all-tournament team while averaging just under 20 points.
The Trojans headed back to the court on Jan. 3 as they faced the Bees of Box Elder High School.