SHELLEY — For three quarter of play the undefeated and top ranked 3A Sugar-Salem Diggers were in control of their game at Shelley High School on Wednesday evening. That was until Shelley senior McKay Cannon decided to take over the contest, putting his team on his back with five fourth quarter three point baskets, including the eventual game winner with :25 remaining.
"Sugar controlled the game for most of the first three quarters," Shelley head coach Dave Hadley said. "They took us out of what we wanted to do. Before the fourth quarter started I told them that we were going to run our two up set and if they backed off and gave us open looks to knock them down. Fortunately McKay hit a few shots and got them playing a little quicker."
A few shots indeed beginning with a four point play to open the fourth quarter scoring, pulling the Russets to with seven at 36-29.
The two teams traded baskets before Cannon drilled a three from long range just in front of the jubilant Shelley student body to cut the lead to six. Chad Leckington followed with his third trey of the evening to pare the lead to five and after a forced turnover Cannon launched another trey into the heart of the net making the score 42-40 Diggers.
After a pair of Sugar-Salem free throws Cannon countered with a trey and seconds later Cannon picked up a steal, found a cutting Leckington on the baseline for a basket and a 45-44 Russet lead.
"That's why I believe that McKay is the best player in the state," Coach Hadley said. "He was horrible early on. I think some of that was being too amped up. In fact our whole team were probably too amped up because we just didn't let the game come to us like we should. But McKay isn't like most kids. Even though he struggled early he wants the ball. He wants to be a difference maker and more often than not he is able to get that done."
Sugar-Salem were able to get one more lead with a pair of free throws but that just set up the game winner by Cannon as he let fly with a high arcing three pointer from the left wing for the 48-46 lead.
Sugar-Salem had a chance to tie the game with a pair of free throws with :11 remaining but a front iron miss on the second attempt sealed the fate of the now one loss Diggers.
"To have the number one team come into our gym is an honor," Coach Hadley said. "Like I told the kids someone has to beat then and it might as well be us. The atmosphere was incredible tonight. I'm proud of the kids."
Cannon finished with 19 points on the evening while Leckington added 13 in the winning effort.
Next up for Shelley (14-3, 3-0) is a home date with Teton on Friday. The game will be senior night and is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
SHELLEY 48, SUGAR-SALEM 47
Sugar-Salem 10 11 15 11 - 47
Shelley 13 7 5 23 - 48
Sugar-Salem (47) - Ridge Spackman 10, Jason Hawkes 10, Keato Small 8, Beau Choffin 7, Devon Smith 12. FG: 13. FT: 13-19. 3-pointers: (Ridge Spackman 1, Beau Choffin 1). Fouls: 14. Fouled out: none.
Shelley (48) - Tyler Fredrickson 2, Kaden Schmitt 2, Garrett nelson 5, Chad Leckington 13, Carter Cannon 4, Dalton Nelson 3, McKay Cannon 19. FG: 16. FT: 7-13. 3-pointers: (Garrett Nelson 1, Chad Leckington 3, McKay Cannon 5). Fouls: 16. Fouled out: none.