In some games a big block, shot or steal turns the tide.
Friday night at Bayfield High School, it was a couple of fouls.
Just as momentum pushed the Bayfield High School boys basketball team within five points of the Centauri Falcons at 46-41, K.C. Jarvies hit three of four foul shots – two of them from a shooting foul and two more from a technical foul – to swing the momentum the other way, and the Falcons flew away with a 67-51 win over the Wolverines.
“I thought we had some good momentum,” BHS head coach Bill Hesford said of the Wolverines fourth-quarter run.
“I think it’s important for them to focus on the ball, not what’s going on after the whistle,” he said of the technical foul. “That really swung the momentum, didn’t it?”
It wasn’t the first momentum swing of the game, and it certainly wasn’t the first foul, either.
The Wolverines opened their Intermountain League rivalry game on a 9-0 run over the Falcons, who pushed Bayfield into one-and-one territory faster than four minutes could run off the clock.
“We started with the right intensity,” said Tyler Kerr, who was the first of three Wolverines to foul out Friday.
By the end of the first quarter, both teams already were deep in foul trouble, and Hesford said that led to some strange combinations of players on the floor as both squads tried to preserve starters for the second half.
“This is the first time we’ve been in trouble like that,” Hesford said.
The Falcons fared better in those mismatches, surging back to lead 31-22 at half.
Jarvies led the way, tallying a game-high 19 points, nine of them coming from the foul line.
And after the halftime break, the whistle wouldn’t stop blowing.
Centauri scored 27 points on free throws; Bayfield scored 17 in the game.
“It was just a rough inside game,” Hesford said. “Everyone was fighting for position.”
Preston Hardy fared best in the scrum, and he led the Wolverines to a one-point advantage in the third quarter, setting up a final-frame comeback attempt.
Hardy finished with a team-high 14 points.
Starting the fourth quarter trailing by 10 at 44-34, the Wolverines made their best run of the second half on a Kerr layup and two jump shots from Geoff Pope, one of them a 3 that pulled Bayfield within five and put the crowd and the momentum at their back.
Pope finished with 11 points, and Kerr had seven.
Sophomore Dillon Hoselton scored nine.
“As a young player moving into the lineup in the middle of the season, he’s handling himself really well ... we’re impressed with his contributions,” Hesford said.
But on the possession after Pope’s 3-pointer, the Wolverines got hit with the back-to-back fouls, and the Falcons pulled away for the final time.
Kerr said with so many players in foul trouble, he and his teammates started worrying too much about keeping clean and let their defense break down.
“We made a nice run in the fourth, just couldn’t get over the hump,” Hesford said.
The Bayfield boys dropped to 2-11 overall, 0-3 in the IML. They host league-leader Alamosa at 3 p.m. today.