Trevor Hill always looked calm throughout Alta’s 65-61 5A first round victory on Monday at the Dee Events Center, and it’s easy to see why. The junior point guard was in familiar territory.
The opener against Bingham was his fifth state tournament game, having played big minutes in two playoff games as a freshman and then two playoff games as a sophomore.
That confidence was particularly evident in two key areas for any point guard — turnovers and the free throw line. Hill only committed three turnovers all game against Bingham’s pressure defense, and late in the game when the Miners were forced to foul, Hill calmly stepped to the free throw line and made 6 of 6 in the final 1:20.
Hill finished the game 9 of 9 from the free throw line.
“I felt confident, this is my third year being here. I Just stepped to the line confident, I’ve done it before,” said Hill, who finished with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Hill’s coach could sense that confidence, particularly late in the game.
“Trevor Hill has been playing in these games since he was a freshman,” said Alta coach Jim Barker. “Those are the kinds of things that make a big difference when you can relax when crowds are getting on your case.”
Protecting the basketball, something Alta did exceptionally well all game with only six turnovers, was key as well. Hill said that wasn’t by accident.
“We worked in practice with ball pressure, we knew they would come out tough, so our coach just had us do drills, practice and dribbling, and it really helped us,” said Hill.
Hill will need to be even better in the quarterfinals against No. 3 Weber on Wednesday as he’ll go head-to-head with Weber star point guard Hayden Schenck.