Kearns • Kearns boys' basketball coach Dan Cosby had a feeling things were about to get hot late during Friday's home game against Viewmont.
It turned out to be the perfect remedy for a freezing day.
Trailing by 10 points early in the second half, the Cougars found their rhythm en route to a 54-43 region victory. Kearns finished the game on a 31-10 run, holding Viewmont scoreless over the final two minutes.
"I started getting position and we moved the ball well, which built my confidence," said Kearns' Darion Brown, who scored 10 of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of key 3-pointers. "If one person catches fire, then the whole team goes wild. I had to keep shooting. You can't be scared."
Kearns, which is known for its athleticism, was out of sync and out of sorts through most of the first three quarters. The Cougars (9-7, 2-1) committed 12 turnovers in the first half alone and attempted their share of ill-advised shots.
Still, things never got too far out of hand, as Viewmont led by as many as eight points early.
"It seems like we always have an explosive quarter," said Cosby, whose team improved to 7-0 on its home court. "It's been an emotionally and physically draining week with grades coming out. The kids felt flat and stressed out, but I just had that feeling. If I can get these guys to play four quarters of that, we'll compete."
Viewmont (1-2, 7-8) took a 33-23 lead on McKay Butler's free throws in the third quarter. The margin was still five points (37-32) entering the fourth quarter, but the momentum appeared to be swinging toward Kearns.
Cosby pointed to Jarel Anderson's high-arching tip-in following a Kearns timeout as the turning point in the game. Brown's second 3-pointer gave the Cougars their first lead (44-41) since 1-0. Brown and Bushman Ebet combined to score 19 of Kearns' 22 points in the fourth quarter.
"Our pressure started taking over," Cosby said. "I tell these guys I want them to make it uncomfortable for the other team."
The Vikings outscored the Cougars 18-12 in the first quarter but managed 10 or fewer points in each of the last three quarters.