Written by Jared Straight
The score is 47-47, with 0.6 seconds left on the clock. Landon Bowles passes the ball to Trevin Morley. From the foul line, Morley catches the ball in the air, shoots, and scores! The student section goes wild! Except, this year there is no student section. Due to challenges with the Covid-19 pandemic, few students were allowed to watch the thrilling 49-47 victory over region rival Juab on Jan. 13.
But that is about to change. The UHSAA has just approved to allow roughly 25% capacity at games for the remainder of the Boys Basketball season. This new policy has already made many students happy as well as the players.
“It’s just been different this year without the student section. They bring a lot of hype to the games and this season that hype just isn’t there,” said senior Zach Allred.
Though the boys basketball team has had an excellent season, they have faced their set of obstacles as they have progressed throughout this season. COVID has affected all sports teams this year, but the boy’s basketball team has battled against it the most, with at least one of their varsity lineup being out of the games for a week while they are quarantined because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This hasn’t stopped the boys from bringing all they have to each and every game that they have competed in this season.
“With some of the starters being quarantined it has allowed some of the players to step up to roles in different ways and it’s been exciting the whole time to see this level of improvement,” said head coach, Cris Hoopes.
The team is now 3rd in region with a 9-5 record and they are currently ranked 7th in the state.
One of the things that have helped with this outstanding record is the free throw shooting percentages that have increased the lead NS has had in numerous games, including shooting 18 for 21 at the free throw line against Union on January 8th.
NS has had some amazing victory’s and some crushing defeats throughout the season so far, losing to Manti on January 22nd by a small margin of two points. The game 60-58.
One advantage NS has this season is depth. While some teams may have seven or eight players that are able to play on the varsity level, NS has nearly twice that many who are able to step in for varsity.
“As coaches we have 15 good, solid players that are able to play on the varsity level and most teams just can’t say that this year,” Hoopes said. The depth of the team has allowed them to excel
A large roster has always helped in sports especially in ones that require the amount of physical activity that basketball does and with a team that has enough people to switch out the entire starting lineup at any time is always appreciated.
The next big thing that has allowed the team to excel is the team unity that can be felt whenever they step on the court together.
“We play together as a team and we have learned to look at the weaknesses of teammates and make them strengths and it has united us to play as one team rather than five players on the court,” Allred said