"At that point, we kind of just took over," Pollard said after the Braves finally had dispatched Mountain View 61-46 in Wednesday's Class 4A state quarterfinals.
But Mountain View gave Bountiful a battle the Braves will long remember. For more than three full quarters, the Bruins pestered and swarmed and outhustled the Braves, who hadn't been in a close game since December.
The Bruins' pressure defense stymied the Braves' offense. And their effort on the offensive glass put a team many consider the best in the state on its heels. The Braves led by just one after the third.
"We knew they were a good team, but I don't think we expected that," said Braves star guard Sam Merrill, who had 16 points and eight rebounds. "They were a pretty dang good team. We were caught a little off-guard, but we were able to battle back and get it going."
The Braves, who had a size and skill advantage, proved to be too good in the end. They limited the Bruins to two offensive boards in the second half. They pulled away midway through the fourth.
The team many expected to cruise to the state title had flirted with disaster and came out alive on the other side.
"That was good for us to have a close game," Merrill said. "We're pretty experienced. We've been here before, so I think that helped us today. That was definitely good for us. I'm not saying we wanted a close game, but it was good for us to get challenged a little bit and fight through."
Bountiful 61, Mountain View 46
O Bountiful holds Mountain View to 32.7 percent shooting to down the pesky Bruins.
• Bountiful stars Zac Seljaas and Sam Merrill combine for 35 points and 18 rebounds in the win.
• The Bruins keep it close throughout but are unable to pull off the stunning upset.