by Daniel Olsen | 2020 has brought a lot of ups and downs but during the year the sports moments we have had brought fans to their feet. From January to March there were crowded stadiums. Then, there was a dark period of no sports from March until June. This left many sports fans to watch re-runs that were aired on several sports channels. The Last Dance became a closely followed documentary on Michael Jordan and the 1998 Chicago Bulls. From July until now, the sports slowly started to rise again in the Beehive State.
Real Salt Lake participated in the MLS Restart in July. The Jazz came back and played into the end of August in the Disney Resort bubble in Orlando. College sports returned in the fall after spring sports were cancelled. The MLB and NHL had shortened seasons and the NFL made it through several cancellations due to the spread of the pandemic in multiple locker rooms.
There were several clutch performances in close games this year. We will break down the four best ones and then make our pick. Feel free to also vote on our Twitter poll to make your voice heard on what the fan’s choice is!
TJ Haws: This one’s for Tyson
The Cougars were in a close game and that’s when the young king of Twitter, Joe Wheat, decided to start walking. That, along with the magic of a new BYU baby to be born, set up which was the biggest clutch shot for BYU basketball in the year of 2020.
Haws got the ball and BYU started off with a few hand-off passes that ultimately put the ball back where it began; in his hands. He dribbled right off a double screen and stopped on a time to launch the three point swish that would seal the deal for the Cougars. It would not be the biggest win of the year but it was a clutch performance that was critical for their tournament resume. A day later, Haws and his wife announced the birth of their baby son Tyson. Who knows? Maybe in 20 years or so that baby will go on to hit a big shot for BYU.
Bojan Bogdanovic: Say it again!
A week later after the big BYU shot, the Utah Jazz were in a tight game with the Houston Rockets. The Rockets hit a couple clutch shots and the Jazz found themselves down 113-111. The Jazz called timeout and drew up one play. With 1.6 seconds left, Bogdanovic cut along the arc and caught the inbound pass. He shot the ball with two Rockets defenders draped over him. This was his second time making a game winner for the Jazz as the first time was against the Bucks in November 2019.
Sam Merrill: The Shot
2020 hit its peak in Logan when a guy named Sam Merrill once again lit up the Mountain West tournament. He came back to beat New Mexico in the first round and staved off a pesky Wyoming team in the second. In the championship game vs San Diego State, they were once again playing for all the marbles. Once the Aggies had the ball tied at 56 with only a few seconds separating the shot and game clock, everyone got out of the way and let Merrill do his iso thing. After a few crossover dribbles he dribbled to his left, hesitating each time he put the ball on the ground. He threw it up with a defender in his face and swished the shot. The degree of difficulty of this shot may be the highest on this list.
Drew Lisk: The Comeback vs Wazzu
This one wasn’t a game winning shot or even pass but the Utes deserve this bid because they came back from down three touchdowns in the first half. They stormed back to defeat the Washington State Cougars. BYU football fans remember all too well when the Utes came back in 2018 from down 20 to beat some different Cougars. The final score against the Washington State Cougars was 45-28. Coach Whittingham gave the game ball to Lisk after the game so he gets our clutch performance of the year for the Utes. He was the third string QB at the start of the season but made all the difference in helping the Utes avoid a losing season and finishing the year 3-2.