Though Colledge is not imposing at first look, at least when considering a center, he plays much larger than his six-foot-four-inch 200-pound frame, and he acts with an ownership of the paint.
The Pioneers led 13-11 at the end of the first quarter and Colledge matched the Tigers (6-2) output with his 11 points on 6 of 8 field goals. He added another four points in the second quarter, in addition to four rebounds and one blocked shot. The 15-point half by Colledge helped Lehi (5-2) gain a seven-point halftime lead over Hurricane 32-25. Lehi knocked down 14 of 28 shots, mostly from close range and first-year Tigers’ coach Brian Viafanua did what coaches do when halftime happens—they coach.
“Our message to our players was very clear,” Viafanua said. “They (Lehi) had a dominate player who was beating us on the inside.
“We needed to get back to what our strengths are, our inside presence. We needed to position our kids right so they could make the right plays.”
The Tigers listened to their coach and executed some defense beautifully in the second half. Hurricane put the clamps on Colledge with multiple fronts and it worked. He was limited to two shots and he committed three fouls in the quarter.
Tigers’ center Boston Gubler decided that he would take over ownership of the paint that Colledge had possessed in the first half. Gubler registered five rebounds, three steals and went 2 for 2 from the field in the eight minutes after halftime. His dominance helped the Tigers outscore the Pioneers 18-3 and take a sizable 43-35 lead into the fourth quarter.
“He had 15 on us in that first half and coach just said we need to buckle down and play better team defense,” said Gubler. “He said we looked a little winded out there so a greater effort was needed if we were going to win.”
At times, Gubler looked like a quick-handed guard, reaching out and snatching the ball out of the hands of his opponent, and other times he was catching just barely released balls meant for a pass, by the other team. Gubler’s eye-hand coordination was performing at a premium.
“I don’t know what it was, I had my hands up,” Gubler said. Maybe I need to keep my hands up more often. It worked out pretty good.”
Gubler finished with 14 rebounds, three steals, two blocked shots and 18 points and Hurricane held on to end their preseason by going 2-0 in the Dixie Great 8 tournament.
The Tigers played as if they are ready to begin the rigors of their region schedule, and their coach was pleased with the progression they’ve made through the preseason.
“These kids want to be in a position to make a difference,” said Viafanua. “Their maturity, and how coachable and teachable they are, I think the results speaks for itself based on what we did tonight.”
Taylor Parker led Hurricane in scoring with 20 and Colton Marshall added 17 and seven rebounds. The Tigers shot 53 percent from the field (21 of 39) and capitalized well from the charity stripe (20 of 23).
Colledge led Lehi with his 20 points and seven rebounds. Brad McGregor and Ryan Christofferson each had 11. The Pioneers shot 38 percent (23 of 60).
Lehi 13—19—3—20 < 55 (5-2)
Hurricane 11—14—18—23 < 66 (6-2)
OTHER DIXIE GREAT 8 SCORES
Parowan 8—14—9—9 < 40 (1-6)
Salem Hills 21—4—11—12 < 48 (2-5)
Timpview 8—10—8—12 < 38 (4-2)
Bountiful 17—4—12—18 < 51 (5-1)
Snow Canyon 9—5—19—21 < 54 (6-2)
Wasatch 11—9—6—21 < 47 (2-6)
Desert Hills 11—19—16—15 < 61 (8-1)
Viewmont 15—13—11—12 < 51 (2-5)
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