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South Valley Journal

Patriots have best season in school history

Mar 25, 2019 11:11AM ● By Greg James

In his final season as Patriots head coach, Brett Pugmire and his team advanced to the quarterfinals. (photo courtesy of Brett Pugmire/PH Basketball)

By Greg James | [email protected] 

Providence Hall reached new heights during its boys basketball season.

“It was probably the best season we have had in our short program’s history,” head coach Brett Pugmire siad. “The kids worked really hard and accomplished their goals. It was a special season for not only the boys but for the school and the program.”

The Patriots cruised to a region championship and qualified for the Class 3A state basketball playoff. It was the school’s first-ever region title.

“I have been here since day one, and each year we have gotten better and better,” Pugmire said. “It has been a slow building process, but obviously we are getting there. This year was our best year so far.”

In their first tournament game, the Patriots jumped out to a large first-quarter lead over San Juan. At halftime, they led by 17 points and never looked back. Their 79-55 victory advanced them into the quarterfinals. Marcus Sherwood and Dalin Dodge each scored 24 points in the first-round victory.

In the second round, Providence Hall lost to the defending state champion Manti Templars, 74-56. The Patriots trailed the entire contest and shot 28 percent from the field. That loss put them in the consolation bracket where they lost to South Sevier 55-41 to close out their season.

The loss was the last of the careers of several Patriot seniors—players Pugmire said came up through the junior high program. 

“Our younger program has been a key to our team’s improvement,” he said. “I contacted the junior high coach early on, and we discussed how we could run an offense in the sixth, seventh and eighth grade levels. By the time the kids get to the high school, they are familiar with what we are running. We are able to fine-tune those things and add to what they have already learned. It was not a new learning curve each year. That has helped us speed up the process to get to where we are today.”

That program development is hampered when junior high kids leave and play at other public schools in the area.

“It is hard,” Pugmire said. “We start to develop the kids through junior high, and then it comes time to choose a high school, and it gets tricky. Blake Freeland and Alex Anderson, who start at Herriman, were Providence Hall kids. It is a hard part to lose kids to the big schools around us, but our team had good chemistry and feel.” 

Sherwood led the team in scoring, averaging 21.2 points per games. The 6-foot-6-inch senior has several offers to continue playing after his high school career is over. 

“I think his plan is to serve and LDS mission,” Pugmire said. “He has some potential. He has worked hard and has earned his success. He has got good feet. It is impressive to see his court vision and passing. He sees the play develop before it does and is a great rebounder. We were fortunate to have him.”

Ben Morales started at point guard; Parker Green was the team’s defensive stopper; and Dallin Dodge played opposite Sherwood. Pugmire said every player served his role to make the team better.

“Melik was a freshman who did not start right off the bat,” he said. “It took him a while to get some experience and find a place. He became our best outside shooter. These are great kids on and off the floor. They are the type of kids I never had to worry about. I would love to have my son be just like them. They were a joy to be around.”

Pugmire is leaving the program to take a postion at another school. At press deadline, administrators were still looking for a replacement.