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Bountiful Outlasts Desert Hills for Shot at Class C Title

bountiful-classCRainstorms have almost become the norm for late-season lacrosse in Utah, and Thursday’s games were no exception. Despite the downpour, however, both the Bountiful Braves and Desert Hills Thunder came ready to play for a chance to extend their season just one more game with a spot in the Class C championship contest on Saturday. While the game started slowly as the teams adjusted to the adverse conditions, Bountiful was able to get a foothold in the second quarter and build a five-goal lead behind a superb offensive effort from Brandon Bott who netted five goals in the contest. Although Desert Hills made a push to get back in the game in the fourth quarter, the Braves were able to hold them off late and secure the 10-7 victory. Carter Bean was an offensive powerhouse for Desert Hills in the loss, scoring six of their seven goals and assisting on the other.
The game started in exciting fashion when Bountiful’s Kennedy Wolfgramm pushed the opening faceoff forward for the fast break and took it right down the middle for the quick score. But the defenses tightened quickly after that and used the slippery conditions to keep the ball out of the net for the first half of the quarter. A highlight of the early defensive struggle was when Bountiful longpole Kyle Winn had a spectacular “expelliarmus” check sending the opponent’s cross hurtling in the air end over end. Bountiful eventually would strike again when Bott notched his first goal of the day on a dodge from the top to bounce it in past the keeper. But Desert Hills responded quickly when it pushed the ball in transition while man up and Jaxson Hess caught the ball on the low wing and quickly put into the cage, ending the first quarter with the Braves up 2-1.
The second quarter started much like the first, with both defenses playing well and offenses having trouble hanging onto the ball. At the 8:59 mark, however, Bountiful started to establish some dominance with back-to-back goals from Bott. A crosscheck would steal the momentum from the Braves, though, and the Thunder’s Carter Bean netted a high-heat rip from the mid-wing. But Bountiful seemed unfazed by the hiccup and ended the quarter on a three-goal run that was comprised of a pair of fast break finishes by Jamison Tidwell and a dodge-to-score from Mitch Allsop, sending the Braves into the break up 7-2.
Bountiful again drew first blood in the third quarter when Tidwell put in a low wing shot off an unsettled situation less than a minute into the period. But Bean wouldn’t let his Thunder go down without a fight, and on the next possession he scooped a loose ball in front of the cage and whipped a tight behind-the-back shot to tickle the twine. Both teams’ offensive stars would grab one more goal in the period, Bountiful’s Bott with a shorthanded goal in transition and Desert Hills’ Bean with a laser from the top of the box. While the score had changed, the margin remained the same with the Braves still leading by five, 9-4.
After two minutes of defensive action in the fourth, Bott scored his fifth goal of the day for the Braves, burying a high-to-low shot from the high wing. But Bountiful’s lead would shrink quickly as Bean scored back-to-back goals with just under seven minutes to play. Holding onto a four-goal lead, the Braves were able to get possession and run significant time off the clock. The Thunder pressed out hard on defense trying to get the ball back, but by the time they got another goal, a low-to-low worm-burner from Bean, there was just over a minute remaining and Bountiful was able to bleed down the remaining time for the 10-7 win.
The Braves will face Box Elder for the Class C championship this Saturday, May 16, at Corner Canyon High School at 2:00 pm.

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