BEAR RIVER HIGH - By Jessica Tanner, Jan. 25, 2020
It has been a tough week for the Bear River boys’ basketball team. They defeated the Grizzlies in a hard fought battle, but then lost a heartbreaker to the Wolves—all without Coach Reggie Shaw leading the way.
On Tuesday, Jan. 21, the team and community were shocked to hear that Coach Shaw would undergo surgery to remove a brain tumor. In his absence the Bears played their hearts out and defeated Logan 69-63 on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
“I’ve never been more proud of a basketball team than I am right now,” Coach Shaw said in a message to Bear River Live after the game. “I love these kids and can’t wait to get back with them in the near future.”
Leading the way for the Bears was Ren Fonnesbeck, who played one of the best games of his life. He went to the free throw line 16 times that night and nailed every single one. He also rained down six, three-pointers and led in assists with five. He was the leading scorer, making over half of the Bears’ points, with 38 on the night.
Mark Huber and Logan Litchford added 15 and 9 points, respectively.
“We knew our boys would have an edge on Logan tonight because of that,” said Coach Ryan Sorensen. With tears in his eyes he added, “He means everything to the kids and he loves them. I am sure this just kills him to not be here. We wish him and his family well. He is a tough sucker and we cannot wait to have him back.”
On Thursday night, Jan. 23, Coach Shaw was out of surgery. Bear River Athletic Director Van Park said, “Things went as well as they had hoped. Best-case scenario the doctors will allow him to go to school for half a day on Monday.”
On Friday, Jan. 24, Bear River hosted Green Canyon. The Wolves came bearing gifts in support of Coach Shaw.
“The people in northern Utah are classy. That was real kind of them to do that, we appreciate it, but we would have rather they just gave us the win,” joked Sorensen. “Everybody is mindful of Coach Shaw across the region and when things like that happen you see the good in humanity.”
As the game kicked off, the Bears fell behind 14-11, but came alive in the second quarter and took the lead headed into halftime, 32-30. In the third quarter the Wolves tied things up at 47 and it was a nail biter until the end.
With only one minute left the Bears had taken the lead, 60-59. Fonnesbeck was sent to the line and sunk both shots to extend their lead by three. The Wolves answered back as Cade DeBoard drove to the hoop and put the game within one, 62-61. Fonnesbeck missed the one-and-one shot and with five seconds left Green Canyon got the ball back. Mckay Yorgason, who led the Wolves in scoring with 24, made the final shot and claimed victory for the Wolves 63-62.
Coach Sorensen said, “I felt like we put ourselves in a position to win, but down the stretch maybe we didn’t value the basketball like we should have. We forced a few things when we didn’t need to and that cost us. The kids feel terrible and we feel terrible about it. It flat out sucks because I felt like that was our game to win.”
He added, “We need Coach Shaw back, if he would have been here we would have got the W.”
The Bears region record is 2-3 and the second half of region play will begin on Friday, Jan. 31.
If you cannot make the trip to Sky View be sure to watch the action on www.brlivestream.com/live.