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Pioneers lose touch with Barlow in fourth

Sandy falls to 3-2 on the season after loss to the Bruins — ranked in the top 10 at the 6A level


by: SANDY POST: PARKER LEE - Sandy head coach Jason Maki addresses his team during a timeout in Tuesdays 48-33 loss to Barlow.

The Sandy boys’ basketball went into Barlow with the attitude that it could pull off the upset, and it was clear the Pioneers were not intimidated by the bigger, 6A school. Sandy hung with the Bruins for most for three quarters, but mistake-riddled play did in the Pioneers.

Barlow held the lead from start to finish, but turnovers and erratic play on its part allowed the Pioneers to stay close in contention. Every time it looked like the Bruins were on the verge of blowing it wide open, Sandy would sink a few shots.

“Coach just told us to cut the deficit and not get it all back at once, and eventually we would have a chance to take the lead,” senior Jacob Groom said. “We came pretty close, but turnovers were too costly.”

To some degree, Sandy overcame those turnovers with some clutch shooting from Groom. About midway through the second quarter, Groom sank a 3-pointer that narrowed Barlow’s lead to one.

As the third quarter was coming to a close, Barlow maintained a nine-point advantage, but Groom nailed another big 3 in the waning seconds to keep Sandy close going into the final frame. He finished with nine points.

Unfortunately for the Pioneers, they never completely put the sloppy play behind them. Sandy committed five costly turnovers in the final seven minutes, which gave the Bruins the breathing room to open up the lead, and eventually close out the game.

Going forward, Sandy knows it will have to remedy the turnover bug, especially with league play opening up in a few weeks.

“We definitely need to focus on that in practice so that it isn’t such a problem in the games,” Groom said.