Jordan center Brandon Pasker came into the 5A state tournament averaging 18.1 points, and was a big reasons the ‘Diggers were able to surprise a lot of people this season by winning 17 games.
On Monday though, American Fork’s duo of Ryan Andrus and Tyler Rawson absolutely shut down Pasker, limiting him to a season-low seven points on 2-of-7 shooting.
American Fork didn’t do anything special against Pasker, it just played him physical with the 6-foot-10 Andrus and the 6-foot-5 Rawson.
“Just be physical with him, he doesn’t like contact much. Just push him out. He likes baseline side and we scouted that and were able to take that away,” said Andrus.
Other teams have tried to play the same way, but Pasker always still manages to get his points. The 6-foot-6 senior came into the state tournament having scored 20-plus points in nine of the 23 games — including a career-high 35 against East on Dec. 31.
American Fork coach Doug Meacham praised Andrus and Rawson for the way they defended Pasker.
“Our goal with our bigs was to stay down. They’re big, they don’t need to jump, just challenge shots. I thought they did a good job of keeping their feet down and making him take tough shots,” said Meacham.
Jordan’s inability to knock down 3-pointers — 3 of 13 for the game — didn’t help Pasker either as American Fork had no reason to sag in defensively.