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Sometimes it pays surprising dividends to not have a superstar on a girls basketball team.

The Springville girls squad proved that point in the final seconds of a barn-burner against Farmington in Saturday\u2019s 5A state title game at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.

The Phoenix had the ball down by a point with 10 seconds left to play when senior guard Abigail Ferrell hit what looked to be the shot of the tournament: a tough, twisting turnaround from the elbow with Red Devil defenders right in her face.

Traditional basketball strategy probably would\u2019ve been for Springville to call a timeout at that point and set up a final play, particularly if the Red Devils had a superstar.

But Springville head coach Holli Averett had told her team during a Farmington timeout before the big Phoenix shot that if Farmington made a basket she wanted them to just attack and trust each other.

\u201cWe said, \u2018you\u2019re going,\u2019\u201d Averett said. \u201cIf I felt like I needed to, I would call at timeout but we didn\u2019t want Farmington to set up their defense or plan. We just thought we would have momentum and see what it gave us. Honestly, we were kind of struggling offensively near the end so I don\u2019t know if we could\u2019ve gotten a good look.\u201d

Instead those final 10 seconds were a testament to the power of Red Devil team basketball.

Springville senior forward Lauryn Deede immediately inbounded the ball to senior guard Kayla Jackson, who actually had the ball tipped away as she weaved through the scrambling Phoenix defenders.

\u201cWhat was going through my head was to get the ball and go,\u201d Jackson said.

She gathered it in and, instead of forcing up a shot, passed the ball to sophomore guard Ellie Esplin. Esplin quickly scanned the court and passed the ball to Deede at the free throw line.

\u201cThe thing about this team is that they are so willing to just give the ball to each other,\u201d Averett said. \u201cThey just trust each other so much that Kayla was willing to give it up and Ellie was willing to give it up. They are just a team.\u201d

Deede grabbed the ball and saw senior forward Addisyn Johnson boxing out, creating a clear path to the basket.

\u201cWe had to score,\u201d Deede said. \u201cI didn\u2019t care if someone shot a 3-pointer but we had to score. I had no idea how much time was left. I just went. I saw Addie (Johnson) pin the girls and I thought, OK, I\u2019m taking it.\u201d

As the final second ticked off the clock, Deede dashed in. She scooped the ball gently up toward the basket, releasing it right before the horn sounded.

It bounced cleanly off the glass and nestled into the basket for the picture-perfect buzzer-beating layup. giving the Red Devils the heart-stopping 39-38 victory and setting off a wild celebration.

\u201cIt took me a second to process it,\u201d Deede said. \u201cIt was like, we\u2019re up ... it\u2019s over ... we\u2019re done! It just feels so good.\u201d

Averett said it felt like the final sequence took forever.

\u201cIt honestly was like slow motion, just waiting to see if it would go in,\u201d Averett said. \u201cThen it was like I almost blacked out, just pure chaos. After we ran onto the court, I don\u2019t even know what happened. I\u2019m honestly still in shock.\u201d

It was a fitting end to a fantastic contest, one that saw both squads dig deep and give everything they had in a tough, physical battle.

\u201cThe entire game was about never letting up,\u201d Jackson said. \u201cIt was a fight the whole game.\u201d

Springville got the first big push with Jackson hitting a 3-pointer to give the Red Devils a 21-13 lead early in the third quarter.

Then Farmington responded at both ends of the quarter, dominating much of the rest of the period as the Phoenix went on a 12-0 run to go up by four points.

Springville got a key 3-pointer from sophomore guard Kayla Porray and a floater from Esplin to go up by a single point (26-25) heading to the fourth quarter.

Neither side led by more that four points down the stretch, setting up the exciting finish.

\u201cIt was one of those games where at the end it was almost going to come down to who had the last possession,\u201d Averett said. \u201cWe lucked out and had the last possession.\u201d

Deede led the Red Devils in scoring with 14 points, while Johnson had eight points and Jackson added seven points.

Farmington junior center Delaney Baker led all scorers with 16 points.

One of the big storylines for Springville was building on its run to the 2020 title game (where the Red Devils lost to Highland) and doing even better this year.

\u201cThis means the world,\u201d Jackson said. \u201cI don\u2019t even know what to say. This is what we worked for, to get to this moment right here. Last year we fell and little short but this year we got it.\u201d

Averett feels like earn team earned all of its success through the effort it dedicated to being the best it could be.

\u201cSince last season, they\u2019ve been in the gym,\u201d Averett said. \u201cThey\u2019ve been putting in the work. We didn\u2019t take any Saturday\u2019s off all season. We went six days a week. We always had a working mentality, wanting to get better. This was what that was for. Now we can go in and say that we did it. This is awesome. I don\u2019t see how the feeling can get any better than this.\u201d

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The outcome of many state championship basketball games has often been decided before the clock gets to the final second.

When that isn\u2019t the case, every heartbeat feels like an eternity \u2014 especially when walking up to the free-throw line.

Just ask Lehi senior guard Noa Gonsalves.

He stepped up for two potentially game-clinching foul shots as the Pioneers clung to a 59-57 lead over Farmington in the 5A title game at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.

If Gonsalves missed one or both, the Phoenix still had a chance to pull off a miracle.

\u201cI had to hit those, man,\u201d Gonsalves said. \u201cThose were the last free throws of my high school career. I just had to hit them.\u201d

Pioneer head coach Quincy Lewis said Gonsalves makes more than 80% from the charity stripe but he had a couple of tough moments earlier in the year when the game was on the line.

\u201cWe were up on Alta with nine seconds left and Noa has two shots,\u201d Lewis said. \u201cHe has to make two against Mountain Ridge to send it to overtime. He misses. We\u2019ve lost some crazy ones this year.\u201d

Past failures can add pressure but Gonsalves showed he had learned from those experiences. He stepped and calmly drained both shots, securing the 61-57 victory over Farmington and the state title.

\u201cIt was awesome,\u201d Gonsalves said. \u201cI know it wasn\u2019t the best game but what matters is that we won, that we pulled it out.\u201d

Lewis pointed to that as a microcosm of the team\u2019s journey during the 2020-21 season.

\u201cThis tells you how far we\u2019ve come in figuring out how to win,\u201d Lewis said. \u201cYou\u2019ve got to put the knife in the heart and he did it. And on the biggest stage.\u201d

The drama of the final moments was a fitting conclusion to an exciting battle between the Pioneers and the Phoenix.

Lehi had the early lead, going up 26-16 in the second quarter. But Farmington rallied behind a downpour of 3-pointers, splashing four during a 15-3 run that gave the Phoenix a 43-39 lead early in the fourth period.

\u201cWhen they were going on their runs, we told each other that he just had to keep our cool,\u201d Pioneer senior guard Tyson Hawkins said. \u201cWe\u2019ve been through that all season. Every region game was close. We just kept our cool and stayed with it.\u201d

The Pioneers got a couple of big buckets from Gonsalves to regain the initiative heading down the stretch.

\u201cWe had a timeout right in there somewhere and Noa just got this look in his eye, one that said, \u2018I am not going to allow this to happen,\u2019\u201d Lewis said. \u201cHe went and scored a tough one right at the rim. We talked at halftime that he was going to get bumped and that he had to finish it. He was much better than second half.\u201d

Gonsalves ended up with 19 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, while Pioneer senior forward Peter Amakasu led Lehi with 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

He also took on the challenge of guarding Farmington star guard Collin Chandler for much of the game. It was a tall task for a player in his first year of high school basketball but he. Chandler led all scorers with 23 points but was only 6-of-17 from the floor.

\u201cI think we held him to five points in the first half but in the third quarter, he helped them go on their little run,\u201d Amakasu said. \u201cWe said to just guard that 3-point line, don\u2019t let them shoot. I think that\u2019s what kind of made him have not the best game.\u201d

The Pioneers had just enough offense and defense to emerge victorious and get to celebrate as state champs.

\u201cOh my gosh, it\u2019s amazing,\u201d Hawkins said. \u201cThroughout the whole season we went through so much adversity. We were 6-5 in region but the whole season we knew we\u2019d be here, just with the way we practice and all the hard work. And thanks to Coach Lewis, who helped us out a lot this season. This is just awesome.\u201d

Lewis, who won a number of titles as the head coach at Lone Peak, said this one is different because of what has been going in the in the world.

\u201cThis one is different from all the rest,\u201d Lewis said. \u201cIt\u2019s special because of the year that we\u2019re in and what these kids have gone through. You see these crowds out here, these kids who are so excited to come to a ballgame. These kids have had to compete without any friends or sometimes even family being able to come to games. They\u2019re just sitting there practicing without any of that, and that makes this even more special.\u201d

Amakasu summed it up by saying, \u201cThis is what we came here for. It feels amazing.\u201d

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Spotting an opponent 10 points at the start of a basketball game sounds like a tactic used by an older brother to convince his younger brother to play one-on-one.

It\u2019s not, however, the best tactic in a state championship.

Westlake found how just how tough it is when you get in that type of a hole in a pressure-packed environment Saturday afternoon in the 6A title game against Davis at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.

The No. 1-seeded Thunder couldn\u2019t find a way to finish in the paint in the early going and the No. 7-seeded Darts \u2014 led by eight quick points from senior forward Chance Trujillo \u2014 took advantage by scoring the first 10 points of the game.

Westlake scrapped and battled but was never able to completely overcome that poor start and ended losing to Davis, 60-55.

\u201cThe mindset coming in was to attack the basket and own the paint,\u201d Thunder head coach Nate Carling said. \u201cI thought we kind of got what we wanted but the shots didn\u2019t fall. We had some good looks but for whatever reason they didn\u2019t fall for us today. Davis came in as the No. 7 seed with not a lot of pressure on them and boy, they hit shots. In my opinion, Davis is the toughest to in the state to play against when you are behind. They don\u2019t beat themselves.\u201d

Even though it found itself in a quick hole, Westlake still had chances to rally.

The Thunder got the lead to five points and had a fast break late in the second quarter, only to have the layup come hard off the board. The Darts got the rebound, were fouled on a 3-point attempt, made all three foul shots and went into the locker room at halftime with an eight-point edge as well as the always-important momentum.

But the frustration for the top seed was going to get worse in the second half, particularly because of how close it got to finishing the comeback.

Westlake put together a 7-0 run to cut Davis\u2019s advantage to 40-37. After a Dart airball with time winding down at end of the third, the Thunder got caught by indecision and traveled with one second remaining.

That gave Trujillo time to hit a buzzer-beater on the baseline, which turned out to be a big bucket.

Westlake junior forward Willy Jensen drilled a 3-pointer and got fouled to start the final period, giving the Thunder a chance to get to within a single point.

But, as it did throughout the game, things slipped away from Westlake.

The free throw bounced out, then the Thunder committed a turnover and had a flurry of fouls, giving Davis a chance to hit 3-of-4 foul shots to regain the momentum.

\u201cWe made a couple of runs at them and got right on the cusp of breaking through,\u201d Carling said. \u201cWe just didn\u2019t quite do it and they had an answer. But our kids are champions because they were down and they showed championship-level resolve to get back in it.\u201d

Westlake stayed close enough to be dangerous the rest of the way but the Davis went to a time-consuming stall and did just enough to hang on.

The Thunder ended up being led by Jensen, who tallied 16 points as part of a balanced effort. Senior Kaleb Furey added 13 points, while senior Noah McCord tacked on 12 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

Davis was paced by Trujillo, who scored 19 points including making five 3-pointers to pace the Darts.

It was a tough pill to swallow for the Westlake players and coaches because they knew that when it mattered most they hadn\u2019t performed at the level they were capable of playing.

There were anguished tears, stunned disbelief and visible frustration as they left the court after accepting the second-place trophy.

\u201cThey are hurting really bad,\u201d Carling said. \u201cI\u2019m hurting real bad. But at the end of the day, these kids are champions and anyone who has seen us play knows that they give it their all. They care for each other and they did things the right way every day.\u201d

Even though the last step proved to be unattainable, Carling said it doesn\u2019t take anything away from what his team accomplished this year.

\u201cWe ended the year as the No. 1 RPI team in the state with the highest winning percentage and the toughest strength of schedule,\u201d Carling said. \u201cWe played anyone anywhere. We earned the No. 1 RPI. Then two minutes into Game No. 3 in region we lose our all-state center, our leading scorer and our leading rebounder. But the kids responded and won six straight games. They responded like champions again.\u201d

He singled out the senior class and what it did to raise the level of basketball expectations at Westlake.

\u201cWe\u2019ve had some great teams,\u201d Carling said. \u201cI\u2019m so blessed to be at Westlake. For these guys to surpass everything that those other teams did is really unbelievable. We won 16 games in a row. These guys found a way to keep pushing the program forward. I\u2019m excited to see the next group but hopefully these kids understand how great of an accomplishment this season was. It\u2019s going to take a couple of days, but hopefully they will recognize and understand that.\u201d

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Lehi head boys basketball coach Quincy Lewis said Olympus threw some figurative \"haymakers\" in Friday night's 5A semifinals game at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville \u2014 but his Pioneers just kept getting back up and staying in front.

That was the key to victory as Lehi answered every Titan challenged and earned the 69-58 win, securing a spot in Saturday's 5A state championship.

\"I think that was one of our better offensive games of the year \u2014 and it had to be,\" Lewis said. \"Those guys were excellent and they shot well too. That's a good team. It got tough tonight but we hung in there. We've come a long way and now we've got one more step.\"

Pioneer senior forward Peter Amakasu said he felt like Lehi was able to stay composed, even when the pressure was on.

\"Communication and intensity was big,\" Amakasu said. \"We tried to get together and talk through it. We just tried to push through.\"

Amakusu hit a number of big shots at key times as he finished with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

\"He's capable of making hard plays,\" Lewis said. \"We'd like to think that we have all these plays we run as coaches to get us wide-open shots but that just is not the truth all the time. Sometimes it is just a kid being in his space making a play.\"

Lehi came roaring out of the gate and led 15-4 before a lot of fans had even settled into their seats. The Pioneers didn't expect a quick push to be enough to put Olympus away.

\"We had to have our defensive game plan,\" Amakasu said. \"We just stuck to it and played it all game. We were able to keep the momentum up the whole game.\"

A Titan push in the second quarter made the Lehi lead just 22-20, while a 3-pointer to start the third quarter trimmed the Pioneer advantage to 36-35. Olympus made one final push and got to within four early in the final period but each time Lehi came back strong.

The Pioneers were paced by 22 points from senior guard Noa Gonsalves, while he also added eight rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Olympus had three players \u2014 Alex Johnson, Dutch Dowdell and Ben Krystkowiak \u2014 who tallied 13 points apiece to lead the Titan scoring effort.

With the victory, Lehi moves on to face Farmington in the 5A championship. Lewis coached in a number of title games during his days at Lone Peak, so he knows what it is like.

\"It doesn't get old,\" Lewis said. \"Truthfully, Sean Yeager was the guy who developed all these guys. I'm just taking over what he gave me. We're just trying to take that last step.\"

The Pioneers hammered Farmington by 20 points when they met in a December tournament but Lewis doesn't put much stock in that.

\"They are a totally different team and we are a totally different team,\" Lewis said. \"They have a super-talented guard but they have much more than that. You can't let their shooters get loose. That is a well-balanced team.\"

Amakasu said it feels amazing to be heading to the title game.

\"I'm excited,\" he said. \"This is my first time, so we'll go see how it goes. We have to play good defense.\"

The Pioneers are slated to square off against the Phoenix at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville on Saturday, with the tipoff at 5 p.m.

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For the last year, Farmington has had to live with its 2020 semifinal loss to Timpview, reliving in their minds Jaxon Santiago\u2019s runner at the buzzer in a crushing two-point loss.

The Phoenix got their revenge.

No last-second shot was needed as No. 4 Farmington took control near the end of the third quarter. Collin Chandler threw down a breakaway dunk at the buzzer, completing a 60-51 upset of the top-seeded T-Birds.

Chandler scored 16 points and Caleb Mordue added 13 as the Phoenix earned a trip to their first state championship game.

Timpview, which ran the entire season as the No. 1 team in Class 5A, finished at 22-4.

\u201cThat\u2019s a heck of a team,\u201d T-Birds coach Kevin Santiago said. \u201cThat Collin kid, he can play ball. He\u2019s beautiful to watch and their coach (Kasey Walkenhurst) did a good job. I told him before the game that this was like Groundhog Day: Here we are again. Last year they walked out of the gym as sad as we are today.\u201d

It\u2019s easy to find the place where the game got away from Timpview: A 16-2 run for Farmington at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth. The T-Birds led by seven points but Everett Page came off the bench for the Phoenix and made a trio of 3-pointers as they turned a seven-point deficit into a seven point lead with 5:31 to play.

\u201cWe lost their shooter,\u201d Santiago said. \u201cHe hit three 3s, big shots for them. We had great looks down the stretch, but the ball just kept coming out.\u201d

The game was tied at 24 at a halftime, Timpview standout Jake Wahlin scoring 11 points in the first half. The BYU signee led a 7-0 Timpview run in the third quarter, capped by a slick no-look pass to Jake Rust for a layup and a 31-26 lead. Rust converted a 3-point play at the 2:12 mark to push the T-Birds advantage to 38-31, which is when Farmington made its big run.

The lead reached nine points as time started to tick away on Timpview\u2019s season. Coleman Ford hit a 3-pointer with one minute to play to trim the deficit to five (53-48) and a 3-point play to cut the Farmington lead to four, 55-51, with 39.6 seconds to go. But that was as close as the T-Birds could get.

The T-Birds, who gave up a 17-point lead before winning a physical, emotional triple overtime game against Alta in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, looked tired in the second half.

\u201cYou saw me trying in the third quarter, I went deeper (from the bench) than I normally would,\u201d Santiago said. \u201cI was just trying to give them a little juice. We lost our run to the state championship by letting those guys (Alta) come back and having to play 12 extra minutes. I walked into the gym yesterday morning and these guys were spent. I thought we battled tonight and we had moments where you could see we can play ball.\u201d

Sophomore James Rust had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Timpview, while Wahlin, a junior, ended up with 15 points. The T-Birds made just 5 of 23 (22%) from the 3-point line.

\u201cWe\u2019re disappointed,\u201d Santiago said. \u201cI still think we\u2019re the best team in the state and I don\u2019t think anybody with argue with that. Will we be state champions? No, but nobody in the state can say we aren\u2019t the best frickin\u2019 team. We ran the best teams out of the gym over and over. But in a four-game tournament, it takes a little luck and we just didn\u2019t take care of business against Alta. We were tired emotionally but I\u2019m proud of these guys.\u201d

Farmington (19-7) will play the Lehi-Olympus winner in the 5A state championship game at 5 p.m. Saturday.

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A mistake when climbing on a steep slope can result in a long fall. The longer it last and the more speed that is build up, the harder it is to arrest the decent.

The Springville girls basketball team probably understands that pretty well, since the Red Devils found themselves in a similar circumstance in Friday\u2019s 5A semifinal game against Lehi at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.

For three quarters, Springville imposed its style of basketball on the game and build what appeared to be an insurmountable 42-26 lead early in the final period.

But the Pioneers weren\u2019t going down that easily as they ramped up the intensity to a fever pitch, forcing a number of Red Devil mistakes. In a matter of minutes, the 16-point Springville advantage was cut to just four points (44-40).

The Red Devils needed to stop the free fall and it was up to Springville sophomore guard Kayla Porray.

She was fouled with a minute to play and headed to the line for a pressure-packed one-and-one.

\u201cIt was intense,\u201d Porray said. \u201cIf I missed the free throw, it meant they could come back. But I\u2019ve worked hard on my free throws and on being mentally tough. I just focused on it being just me and the rim.\u201d

Her trust in her stroke proved well-founded as the ball nestled softly into the basket. She then duplicated the feat, giving her team a much-needed boost. It was enough to keep Lehi at bay as the Red Devils held on for the 49-42 win and earned a return trip to the 5A state championship game.

\u201cI had been getting on Kayla all game long but she stayed tough and knocked those free throws down,\u201d Springville head coach Holli Averett said. \u201cWe were trying to stay composed and play smart offense. Maybe we needed to clarify because we wanted to get layups, not to stall. We missed some foul shots but when we made some, it calmed us down.\u201d

Red Devil senior forward Addisyn Johnson said that the biggest challenge at the end was being strong mentally.

\u201cWe had to stay tough and break things down,\u201d Johnson said. \u201cLehi is definitely a tough team and they played awesome. We have our strengths and they have theirs. We had to control things and play our game. It was a great game. I always love playing against Lehi.\u201d

Springville got going first and built a seven-point lead in the first quarter, only to see the Pioneers rally to tie the game at 21-21 at halftime.

After an exchange of treys at the beginning of the third, the Red Devils got rolling. They scored 18 of the next 20 points to take control.

Lehi head coach Sean Seastrand said that Springville run put his squad in a tough position.

\u201cAgainst a team like that, it is so hard to come back,\u201d Seastrand said. \u201cThey are so patient. They make you defend for a long time then get a layup. They have an identity and stick to it.\u201d

He loved how his squad pushed itself and gave itself a chance near the end.

\u201cThings got chaotic and desperate,\u201d Seastrand said. \u201cIt just turned out to be too little too late for us.\u201d

Johnson led the way for the Red Devils as she scored 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds. Springville also got 12 points from senior guard Kayla Jackson.

Lehi was paced by 20 points from senior guard Macie Warren, while junior forward Jamisyn Heaton had 11 points and seven boards.

Seastrand said that it was clear both teams were hungry to get to the title game but the Red Devils were the ones to get the job done. That, however, doesn\u2019t take anything away from what the Pioneers accomplished.

\u201cIt was a great season and I love these girls,\u201d Seastrand said. \u201cThis group of seniors put Lehi on the map. We are a top program because of them. That is their legacy. That\u2019s about as good of a compliment as you can give these kids.\u201d

Springville, who lost to Highland in the 2020 5A championship, will now get another opportunity to add a title to the Red Devil collection.

\u201cIt\u2019s because of all the hard work and how much we put in,\u201d Johnson said. \u201cWe have been pushing ourselves all season to be ready for the state tournament. Now we have to go out and stick to our game plan and not back down.\u201d

Porray added: \u201cWe are proud and excited \u2014 but we\u2019re not satisfied.\u201d

Springville will fact Farmington in the championship, which is scheduled to take place at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville on Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m.

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TAYLORSVILLE \u2013 Westlake fans chanted \u201cOoh! Ooh! You wish you went to Westlake!\u201d as the clock spun down in Thursday\u2019s Class 6A state basketball semifinal game at Salt Lake Community College.

The No. 1-seeded Thunder are the envy of the state after beating Region 4 rival and No. 4 American Fork 68-60 to reach the school\u2019s first-ever state championship game.

\u201cIt\u2019s huge, man,\u201d said Westlake\u2019s Caleb Furey, who led his team with 17 points. \u201cThis is so fun, You can hear it in there (the locker room) right now. Everyone is so excited. We\u2019ve worked so hard to get to this point so we\u2019re going to enjoy it.\u201d

The victory also avenged a loss at home to the Cavemen in the final week of the Region 4 season.

\u201cWe got a lot of fight to play those guys,\u201d senior Noah McCord said. \u201cWe don\u2019t like them, you know? We\u2019ve battled on the court before. This is our third time playing them. They snapped our (16-game) winning streak and they snapped our senior night. They were talking trash the entire game so we really wanted this one bad.\u201d

The semifinal game was tied nine times through the first two and a half quarters but Westlake finally gained some separation. Oakley Slade scored seven points in a 12-4 run and his long jumper sent the Thunder to a 48-40 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Westlake shared the ball throughout the game and finished with 16 assists.

\u201cYou look at basketball across the country and you don\u2019t see that,\u201d Thunder coach Nate Carling said. \u201cA lot of it is we have great kids that have been together for a long time. That\u2019s probably the biggest key.

\u201cThese kids have played together. They know each other, they love each other and they trust each other. They only care about the results. We got a little lead and AF started to pressure. We executed a couple of great backdoors in the third quarter. Great cuts and layups, those are real backbreakers on a team trying to get back into the game. We really executed. We kept our composure and in a semifinal game to have that was really impressive.\u201d

Westlake led by as many as ten points early in the fourth quarter but American Fork valiantly made a game of things, closing to 53-48 after a steal and a basket by Yaw Reneer with 3:33 remaining. But that was as close as the Cavemen could come. Furey scored twice on breakaways in the final two minutes and the Thunder converted at the foul line to lock things up.\u201d

Westlake (21-3) shot 56 percent from the field in the second half. Kaden Hoppins and Noah Madsen added 14 points each and McCord \u2013 whose older brother Asa was on the last Thunder team to reach the semifinals (2016) \u2013 filled the stat sheet with five points, ten rebounds, three assists and four blocks.

Jaxon Kohler put up big numbers in the game for American Fork (17-7) with 26 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks. But the 6-foot-8 junior was just 11 of 25 from the field as Westlake surrounded him with multiple defenders and kept him off-balance, with the physical work of 6-6 senior Keilan Torkornoo leading the way.

\u201cWestlake did a really good job in hitting some big shots that kind of separated them,\u201d AF coach Ryan Cuff said. \u201cThey did good job spreading it out and making us defend and they made some free throws. You can win or you can lose but if you walk away and not learn things from the experience then you don\u2019t become who you are meant to become. This is why love coaching basketball. This allows us to rise up and keep our heads up and recognize lot of character building through this process.\u201d

Westlake will play Region 1 champion Davis on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Salt Lake Community College for the 6A championship.

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It can be a tremendous psychological disadvantage for a basketball team to be playing from behind for the entire game.

The was the position the No. 4-seeded Lone Peak girls basketball team found itself in Thursday afternoon in its 6A semifinal battle against top-seeded Herriman at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville.

Given that fact, the inevitable outcome was the end of the season for the Knights, who couldn\u2019t find a way to battle back and lost to the Mustangs, 54-46.

\u201cAt the end of the day, the girls battled but we came up short,\u201d Lone Peak head coach Nancy Warner said. \u201cYou just can\u2019t shoot the way we shot against a team like Herriman. But I was always proud of their effort. They\u2019ve always given that all year. They always fight.\u201d

The Mustangs started with three straight triples \u2014 one \u201cand-one\u201d and two bombs from beyond the arc \u2014 to build a nine-point lead in the early going.

The Knights kept battling back, getting the Herriman advantage down to a single point (13-12) late in the first quarter. Lone Peak got to within one-possession on six other occasions during the game but couldn\u2019t find a way to make the play to even the score.

\u201cIn the first half, we had some missed free throws when we could\u2019ve tied it or even taken a lead,\u201d Warner said. \u201cWe would get a stop but then we couldn\u2019t convert at the other end. Those were momentum killers for us.\u201d

The key sequence of the came came early in the fourth quarter. The Knights got a 3-pointer from sophomore Kailey Woolston to end the third and get the Mustang advantage down to just three points at 31-28.

Lone Peak then had a couple of opportunities to get some momentum, including a 3-pointer that rimmed out that would\u2019ve tied the game, but couldn\u2019t get the shots to fall.

\u201cWe had shots that normally go in that just wouldn\u2019t fall today,\u201d Warner said. \u201cIt\u2019s tough when that happens but that\u2019s the nature of it. Sometimes those things are out of your control, so you have to do the best you can at the other end.\u201d

Instead, it was Herriman senior guard Lealani Falatea who got hot. She scored eight straight points (two layups, two 3-pointers) to create an 8-2 Mustang run that gave Herriman its first double-digit lead of the contest.

Lone Peak stayed close enough to be dangerous but couldn\u2019t rally and ended up falling, while the Mustangs advanced to the finals.

While it was tough to be on the short end of the scoreboard, Warner believes her young players will be better because of getting this far this season. Woolston led the Knights with 15 points, while sophomore Makeili Ika scored 12.

\u201cWe are very young, so the experience we gained the year will propel us to be even better in the future,\u201d Warner said. \u201cI know they are going to be in the gym working like crazy. This matters to them and they think about leadership and coming together as a team.\u201d

While most of the Lone Peak team is returning, Warner credited the two seniors, Maile Hunt and Cherish Ferrell, for being the catalysts for the team this season.

\u201cWe are where we are because of Maile and Cherish,\u201d Warner said. \u201cTheir experience over the last three years is what kept the team together and moving forward. If not for them, I don\u2019t think we get here.\u201d

From a bigger-picture perspective, Warner also sees the 2020-21 season and the pandemic impact as a reminder about just how special it is to be able to see her players play and for her to coach a game she loves.

\u201cThis year more than anything was about seeing the girls compete,\u201d Warner said. \u201cWe\u2019re just grateful to have a season and be able to play. It\u2019s rewarding as a coach to see these girls set goals and work hard to reach those. It\u2019s great that they were able to have that opportunity.\u201d

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It was anything but. With three minutes left in the third quarter, the No. 3 seed Red Devils trailed by 11 points. Springville reeled off a 20-0 run to seize control of the game, outscoring the Golden Eagles 33-9 the rest of the way to move on to the semifinals on Friday. 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At first glance, Springville\u2019s 54-43 victory against Maple Mountain in the 5A girls quarterfinals on Wednesday would seem to be a typical 11-point playoff win.

It was anything but.

With three minutes left in the third quarter, the No. 3 seed Red Devils trailed by 11 points.

Springville reeled off a 20-0 run to seize control of the game, outscoring the Golden Eagles 33-9 the rest of the way to move on to the semifinals on Friday. The top defense in the Class 5A, which has allowed less than 30 points per game during the regular season, showed up in a big way just when the Red Devils needed it.

\u201cHonestly, that\u2019s kind of what our mentality is,\u201d Springville coach Holli Averette said. \u201cIt\u2019s always defense. We\u2019ve preached it all year and we\u2019ve been working on our defense all year. It took us getting after them about it and them focusing up. We have strong defenders but it takes all five. Your on-ball defense has to be good but your off-ball defense has to be just as good.\u201d

No. 6 seed Maple Mountain \u2013 which had lost twice to Springville during the Region 8 season \u2013 played brilliantly for two and a half quarters, taking an early 15-4 lead. The visitors led 22-13 at halftime and had control through most of the third period. A basket by Kinley Nelson and another from Sheridan Liggett gave the Golden Eagles a 32-21 lead with 3:20 remaining in the third.

That\u2019s when Springville ignited.

\u201cI told them to just to keep relying on our defense,\u201d Averett said. \u201cIt was going to take a great second half of defense, but that\u2019s kind of what we\u2019ve relied on all year, one possession at a time. It starts with our defense and our offense will come. Our offense, we had a rough shooting first half. We were missing some things so we just keep focusing on our defense.\u201d

The Red Devils outscored the visitors 9-0 to close the quarter including Kayla Jackson\u2019s third 3-pointer since halftime. Trailing 32-30, Ellie Esplin splashed a triple to open the fourth for Springville\u2019s first lead of the game at 33-30. The onslaught continued as the Red Devils got their transition game going with steals and defensive stops. A basket inside by Addi Johnson capped the 20-0 run and gave Springville a 41-32 lead. Down the stretch, the Red Devils made 11 of 12 free throws in the final minute to take home the win.

Jackson paced Springville (20-2) with 20 points, 13 in the second half. Johnson had 14 and Esplin added 13.

Skylar Dennison, who scored 11 points in the first half, paced Maple Mountain (14-7) with 14. Liggett and Nelson scored 11 points each for the Golden Eagles.

Springville\u2019s opponent in Friday\u2019s semifinals is a familiar one in No. 2 Lehi. The two teams met in last year\u2019s semifinals, with the Red Devils pulling off an upset of the unbeaten Pioneers. Earlier this season, Springville topped Lehi by seven points in December.

\u201cIt\u2019s going to take a complete game,\u201d Averette said. \u201cThey have a great team all the way around. They have great shooters and great drivers. They\u2019re just a good group. It\u2019s going to take a full defensive game and on offense we have to come out ready to go.\u201d

"}, {"id":"747e5ed3-0b8a-5249-a72e-4240db516185","type":"article","starttime":"1614832200","starttime_iso8601":"2021-03-03T21:30:00-07:00","priority":50,"sections":[{"boys":"sports/high-school/basketball/boys"},{"timpview-thunderbirds":"sports/high-school/schools/timpview-thunderbirds"}],"flags":{"editors_pick":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Timpview boys basketball edges Alta in 3OT in 5A quarterfinals","url":"http://www.heraldextra.com/sports/high-school/basketball/boys/article_747e5ed3-0b8a-5249-a72e-4240db516185.html","permalink":"https://www.heraldextra.com/sports/high-school/basketball/boys/timpview-boys-basketball-edges-alta-in-3ot-in-5a-quarterfinals/article_747e5ed3-0b8a-5249-a72e-4240db516185.html","canonical":"https://www.heraldextra.com/sports/high-school/basketball/boys/timpview-boys-basketball-edges-alta-in-3ot-in-5a-quarterfinals/article_747e5ed3-0b8a-5249-a72e-4240db516185.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Brandon Gurney\nHerald Correspondent","prologue":"Dramatic things often transpire in a single-elimination state tournament, and such was certainly the case during Timpview\u2019s thrilling 67-63 triple overtime quarterfinal win over Alta on Wednesday. The game showcased big shots, an improbable comeback bid and truly scrappy defense on both ends, with the TImpview faithful rushing the court to celebrate after.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{"label":"Prep Basketball"},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"c57179d1-8417-5ec1-b68c-528268b4b786","description":"Timpview head coach Kevin Santiago directs his team during a game against Salem Hills in the 5A second round on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.","byline":"Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald","hireswidth":3900,"hiresheight":2784,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/57/c57179d1-8417-5ec1-b68c-528268b4b786/6039c3ce41832.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1704","height":"1216","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/57/c57179d1-8417-5ec1-b68c-528268b4b786/6039c3ce2ca6e.image.jpg?resize=1704%2C1216"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"71","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/57/c57179d1-8417-5ec1-b68c-528268b4b786/6039c3ce2ca6e.image.jpg?resize=100%2C71"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"214","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/57/c57179d1-8417-5ec1-b68c-528268b4b786/6039c3ce2ca6e.image.jpg?resize=300%2C214"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"731","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/57/c57179d1-8417-5ec1-b68c-528268b4b786/6039c3ce2ca6e.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C731"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"747e5ed3-0b8a-5249-a72e-4240db516185","body":"

Dramatic things often transpire in a single-elimination state tournament, and such was certainly the case during Timpview\u2019s thrilling 67-63 triple overtime quarterfinal win over Alta on Wednesday.

The game showcased big shots, an improbable comeback bid and truly scrappy defense on both ends, with the TImpview faithful rushing the court to celebrate after.

It all left Timpview coach Kevin Santiago exasperated after, asking, \u201cHow many overtimes did we just play? I seriously don\u2019t know.\u201d

The answer would be three more than seemed even possible through the first 32 minutes of play, given Timpview\u2019s dominance from the opening tip on. But Alta closed in furious fashion, slicing the T-bird\u2019s 51-34 lead after three quarters all the way down to none, with the teams entering the first overtime period tied at 56-56.

So what happened?

Well, several things, including Alta center Jaden Brownell asserting himself on both ends during a key 10-0 run which ended with him tying things up at 54-54 with just under three minutes remaining. The two teams went cold from there, and exchanged two free throws a piece to send the game into the first overtime.

\u201cWe just couldn\u2019t hit anything at the end there, for whatever reason,\u201d Santiago said. \u201cBut you have to give all the credit to Alta. We had them dead in the water and they just wouldn\u2019t quit. That\u2019s a very good team there and it\u2019s a shame that one of us had to lose this thing. All the credit to them.\u201d

Whether it be tired legs or something else, both teams continued with their cold shooting into the three overtime periods, although several stepped up big in key moments.

First and foremost was Santiago\u2019s nephew, Jaxon Santiago providing Timpview\u2019s lone three points in the first overtime period off a 3-pointer which sent the game to a second overtime.

\u201cMan, he just wanted it and told us as much during the timeout,\u201d Kevin Santiago said of Jaxon\u2019s shot which found the bottom of the net with just under a minute remaining. \u201cHe stepped up big, just as he has all year.\u201d

Only one other field goal was converted by either team during the final two overtime periods as defense ruled, causing relatively sloppy offensive execution.

\u201cThat\u2019s just two teams that don\u2019t know how to quit and were giving it all right until the end,\u201d Kevin Santiago said. \u201cIt\u2019s the state tournament. You lose, and you\u2019re done, so that\u2019s the fight you expect and they gave us all we could handle tonight.\u201d

Big free throws were made in the final overtime period by Timpview\u2019s James Rust, who hit all four of his attempts, and by Jake Wahlin, who all but wrapped things up with his free throw make that put the T-birds up four points with just four seconds left.

Leading the way for Timpview in scoring were both Wahlin and Jaxon Santiago, with both scoring 16 points while Rust added 15. Collin Crow led things for Alta, scoring a game-high 17.

As could well be imagined, the win was a bittersweet one for Kevin Santiago, whose team led big most of the way, only to almost blow it at the end.

\u201cWe had some serious execution issues we need to clean up, no doubt, but it\u2019s all about just finding a way in the state tournament, no matter what round and who you\u2019re playing,\u201d he said. \u201cAnd Alta, that\u2019s a great team, so no shame at all having a team like that almost take it from you.\u201d

With the win, Timpview advances to the semifinal round where it will take on Farmington this coming Friday.

"} ]