Preps boys' basketball: Hot-handed Ross lifts Murray past Riverton

Forward scores 21 in Spartans' first-round tournament victory.
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Sandy • Murray forward Dylan Ross lined up a 3-pointer and held his follow-through in the air for a moment. When the ball came off the iron, the Spartan senior looked a little surprised.

Almost everything else had gone in for him.

Ross hit five treys, including four in the first quarter, as Murray beat Riverton 66-56 in the first round of the Jordan Holiday Tournament on Thursday afternoon.

"It was good to see him heat up, but it's not that shocking to us," Murray coach Jason Workman said of the 6-foot-4 swingman. "It won't be the last time he does it this year. This isn't the one merry-Christmas game for Dylan."

Ross finished with a game-high 21 points against the Class 5A Silverwolves (4-4). His previous best was a 17-point night against West Jordan, a game in which he also hit five triples.

Riverton worked hard to slow down 6-foot-10 center Nathan Aland, who finished with 16 points.

But the big man kept his eyes up and found a slashing Ross for a couple of easy buckets.

"If I catch and they collapse, I know I can throw it out and someone will hit the shots," Aland said. "Dylan is a really good shooter."

The Spartans (5-2) jumped out early on Riverton, thanks to Ross' hot outside shooting. By the time Murray's leading scorer, Chase Topham, got on the board, Ross was already in double digits.

Topham finished with 15, including a 3-pointer of his own. And everything was clicking for Murray when freshman guard Ryan Topham banked a 3 off the glass, got fouled and completed the four-point play.

"We've got some good shooters," Workman said. "If we play inside-out, we've been successful on those nights."

Riverton fought back in the second quarter thanks to a spark off the bench from senior Nathan Erickson, who hit three 3-pointers in the period. He finished with a team-high 15 points.

Riverton's Stephan Holm scored 13 points in the loss, after being held to just four in the first half.

Twitter: @aaronfalk