By Jaxson Carlisle
On Tuesday evening, the Ignite AAU basketball team took the floor at Summit Christian Academy for its last region matchup of the season. The boys once again played without their two starting guards, Brendan Palacios and Tyler Moynier.
The team faced off against the Utah Thunder in its first game of the night. Ignite was up by one point, 20-19, going into the half.
The boys allowed their opponents only seven points in the second half, outscoring the Thunder 33-7, to take the game, 53-26.
JP Powell led the team with 13 points. Jaxson Carlisle had nine points while Jaylon Dennis finished with seven points, Jaydon Freeze and Jordan Thomas added five points each and Jabari Griffin ended the game with four points. Oscar Herrera had two points and Riley Mitcheson finished with six rebounds and four points. Jordan Thomas led the team in rebounds with 11.
Next up, Ignite faced off against the #1 ranked D.C Dawgs from Taylorsville.
The team fought hard in the first half, trailing 21-17 at the break. Ignite then took control of the game by going on a 10-4 run with two big shots from Powell.
The D.C Dawgs jumped ahead, 36-29, with only three minutes left in the game. Thomas and Herrera’s defense helped Ignite get back in the contest, 34-29. Carlisle hit a big shot from downtown as well to only put Ignite down one, 34-32. D.C Dawg’s Julian Davis hit a three to then push the lead back up to five, 37-32.
With only 10 seconds remaining, Powell hit a trey, which put Ignite down by only two points once again. The Dawgs then hit their free throws, causing Ignite to drop the game, 39-35.
Powell finished with 10 points while Carlisle had seven and Dennis ended with three. Thomas scored six points along with a career high of seven blocks and once again led the team with 13 rebounds. Brayden Olsen added five points while Mitcheson and Freeze both chipped in two points apiece.
Ignite earned the sixth seed and will travel to Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 27 where it will go head-to-head with #3 Kongo in the first round of the region tournament at 6 p.m. Ignite lost to Kongo earlier in the season, 56-46.