By Taylor Emerson
Never mind Rylan Jones’ 29-point outing against Juan Diego Catholic on Friday night. Never mind that it tied his career high and kept the Eagles from clinching the Region 11 championship. Never mind that the opposing coach called Jones’ performance a “masterpiece.”
After the game, Jones simply wasn’t interested in talking about himself. It was “senior night” for the Logan High School boys basketball team, and the freshman phenom continually redirected praise back onto his older teammates, highlighting the seniors’ efforts on the court.
“I just wanted to get the win tonight. When our seniors stepped up it turned into a fun game,” Jones said. “I felt that it was only fitting that we send them away with this win here tonight. Just glad we were able to do so.”
With the help of senior guard Jason Andersen, Jones scored two consecutive three-pointers to end the first-half, giving the Grizzlies their first lead of the game. But the “masterpiece” performance, according to Juan Diego head coach Drew Trost, came in the final quarter.
“He’s a special player. There’s no doubt that he’s a really good player and that he’s going to hit his shots,” Trost said. “We tried to get up in him so that he doesn’t get open shots, but then he drives by us. When we got help defensively he had an easy pass to set up an open player for an open shot. He’s the focal point of their offense, and we knew that. We just couldn’t execute defensively.”
Jones, who scored 15 of the last 23 points for the Grizzlies, said it was the team that allowed him to shine.
“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, who got me the ball in the right situations,” said Jones, who also had three assists and three rebounds. “Jason Andersen and Jared Bagley stepped up for me tonight.”
Grizzly coach Logan Brown said the team “executed really well to get him in an area where he could score, but Rylan was big tonight; he had a really good week and he just keeps getting better.”
For Jones, it was redemption. He put up 25 points against Juan Diego on Jan. 20, but the Grizz fell 70-63 that night.
“We wanted to come back and prove that we are a legitimate contender in our region,” Jones said. “We came out and proved that here tonight.”
The Grizzlies finished with an 84-76 victory over the Eagles, delaying Juan Diego’s chance to clinch the Region 11 championship for at least another two games.
The win also kept Logan’s championship aspirations alive. The Grizzlies remain in second place in Region 11 play, but they have a chance to take first place if they win out and Juan Diego loses at least one of its remaining two region games.
Logan’s next matchup is a road game against Ben Lomond on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
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