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Bountiful • Kearns basketball coach Dan Crosby paced the sideline, and his voice rumbled and bounced off the walls of the gym, above the yells of the Viewmont crowd.
There was tenacity in his demeanor. The Cougars, as they sometimes have done this season, were easing up after building a lead. Viewmont was climbing back into the game, and Cosby urged his team to dictate the pace and up the physicality.
"Everybody hears me," Crosby said. "As long as people don't take it offensive I've had some refs get upset but that's just me. I try to keep it intense. If my guys feel me, feel my spirit, hopefully that works on them.
In the end, the Cougars were able to keep the Vikings at a distance, winning 67-57 Tuesday, despite small bouts of lackluster play.
Long and athletic and big on talent, 6-foot-8 senior Dayon Goodman exemplifies the way Kearns plays. When he isn't physical enough or doesn't exert his will, the Cougars struggle. When he does what he's capable of, the talented Cougars flourish.
Late in the first half, Goodman wasn't getting to the basket, and the Cougars relied on other shooters to score. Their 11-point lead dwindled to four at the half.
But in the second half, Goodman seemed reinvigorated. He got to the rack nearly at will and ended up with 22 points, shooting 10 for 13 from the line.
"My coach told me I needed to be more aggressive," Goodman said. "That's how I get most of my points, getting to the basket, getting fouled. I wasn't really doing that in the first half."
If the Cougars are to make a run in the state tournament, Goodman knows he must consistently find the level of play he showed in the second half. He must help Crosby keep the team energized and avoid lapses of uninspired play.
The Cougars took a step in the right direction in the second half, Goodman said, and his goal is to finish the regular season on an upward path.
"All games are big games, but these are especially big," Goodman said. "So are the rest of the games this season to get rolling into the playoffs."
Kearns 67, Viewmont 57
• Dayon Goodman's 22 points lead to the win for Kearns.
• The Cougars get to the free throw line 26 times in the second half, after making an effort at halftime to get the ball inside.