Spanish Fork girls basketball continues magical run by beating Lehi in the 5A quarterfinals
Cinderella is still dancing at the 2023 5A state girls basketball tournament.
Just hours after No. 22-seed Skyline defeated No. 3-seed Timpview, No. 21-seed Spanish Fork showed that it also wasn’t ready for the clock to strike midnight either.
The Dons — who had to beat No. 12-seed Cottonwood and No. 5-seed Cottonwood on the road in the first two rounds of the playoffs — took another big step in Wednesday night’s quarterfinals at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, knocking off No. 4-seed Lehi, 46-41.
It was a back-and-forth contest that saw four ties and 10 lead changes as Spanish Fork and the Pioneers each had stretches where things went their way.
Lehi knocked down a 3-pointer to take a 31-30 lead late in the third quarter, but the Dons answered with a basket by sophomore Eden Erickson, some defensive stops and another by junior Hailey Sullivan to go up by three heading into the final period.
Although the Pioneers got within one point a couple of times early in the fourth, Spanish Fork always got the plays it needed to stay in front.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well, although the Dons were certainly more efficient. Spanish Fork was 13-of-35 from the field (37.1%) while Lehi simply couldn’t find the range. The Pioneers had 22 more shots than the Dons but were 15-of-57 (26.3%) from the field.
The Spanish Fork defense certainly deserved a lot of credit for that as it pressured the Pioneers with a tough zone throughout the contest.
The Dons were led by senior Emily Gwilliam, who poured in 16 points and made 10-of-12 free throws. Six other Spanish Fork players scored between three and seven points to round out the scoring.
Lehi got 19 points from junior Addy Scrivner, while junior Kinly Faux tallied 12.
Spanish Fork moves on to the 5A semifinals where the Dons will face a familiar opponent. They will take on top-seeded Springville (a team that beat them by a total of 72 points in two Region 9 contests this year) at the Dee Events Center in Ogden on Friday at 3 p.m. with a spot in Saturday’s championship on the line.
Spanish Fork (46)
Cook 7, Roberts 3, Anderson 6, Gwilliam 16, Erickson 4, Bingham 6, Sullivan 4. Totals 13 16-24 46.
Warren 2, Scrivner 19, Love 3, Havea 2, Faux 12, Jepson 3. Totals 15 5-9 41.
Spanish Fork 13 11 10 12 — 46
Lehi 19 6 6 10 — 41
3-pointers: Spanish Fork 4 (Anderson 2, Bingham 2); Lehi 6 (Srivner 5, Jepson).
Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald