The Kanab Cowboy basketball team took a page from last year’s baseball team at the 2-A state tournament. If you remember, Kanab was 10 runs down in the bottom of the fifth inning in the championship game against San Juan. The Cowboys scored 10 runs in the inning to tie, then beat the Broncos in the final inning to claim the state championship.

Last Saturday, at their state play-in game in the Centrum at SUU, Kanab came back from being 14 points down in the fourth quarter against Rowland Hall to win 52-51.

Craig Brinkerhoff and Rhees Jackson each scored 10 points in the final frame to lead the Cowboys to the exciting comeback victory. Kanab trailed 39-25 as the fourth quarter got underway. Jackson, who had to sit for most of the second and third quarters with foul trouble, got his chance in the final frame. He scored nine points in an 18-2 Cowboy run to start the period. With 3:30 left to play, Kanab took the lead for the first time in the game, 43-41. Brinkerhoff, who shouldered most of the offensive burden with Jackson on the bench, scored four points in the run, and ended the game with 24 points.

The Cowboys full-court pressure in the fourth period caused many Winged Lion turnovers, which resulted in easy baskets. Kanab scored 27 points in the final quarter, after scoring only 25 in the first three stanzas.

The Cowboys first basket of the game, a driving lay-up by Justin Orton, came with less than four minutes left in the first to tie it at 4-4. Kanab was tied with Rowland Hall at 6-6, before the Winged Lions closed the period on a 5-0 run to lead 11-6 after one. The biggest play of the quarter was when Jackson was whistled for his third foul, called with :08 left, which forced him to sit out the whole second frame.

Rowland Hall hit the first two baskets of the second quarter to lead 15-6. A Brinkerhoff lay-up with 6:15 left was the Cowboys first score of the period to cut it to 15-8. A Brinkerhoff putback cut the lead to 15-10. A basket by each team made the score 17-12, before the Winged Lions closed out the half on a 6-0 run to lead 23-12 at the break.

Just one minute into the third period, Jackson picked up his fourth foul, wondering to himself if he was ever going to get to help his teammates. Rowland Hall led by 14, 31-17, late in the third, before Brinkerhoff nailed a three to make it 31-20. Rowland Hall kept the pressure on and led 39-25 heading into the pivotal fourth frame, setting up the Jackson and Brinkerhoff heroics.

Brinkerhoff led the Cowboys with 24 points, while Jackson finished with 14. Orton ended the game with seven points, while Jordan Jones netted five and Payton Jesus two.

With the big win, Kanab will face North Summit this Thursday at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield, with tipoff set for 11:10 a.m. The game will be broadcast locally on Manti radio station KSGR. If the Cowboys win that game, they play the winner of Waterford and North Sevier on Friday at 7:30 p.m. If they don’t win, they play at 4:10 p.m.