SMITHFIELD — There certainly were some big momentum swings Thursday night between Sky View and Green Canyon in Region 11 girls basketball action.
The Wolves scored the first 11 points of the third quarter to overcome an eight-point halftime deficit and never looked back. Green Canyon grabbed rebounds on both ends of the court to help push its way to a 71-58 victory.
“We know how crucial the first few minutes are to start the second half and we just came out with energy and were ready to win,” said GC sophomore Maren McKenna, who finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. “We felt more as a team and just took off.”
On three occasions the Wolves (10-4, 2-2 region) turned a missed free throw into a rebound bucket.
“Our focus has been getting rebounds,” McKenna said. “I think we all did a good job in succeeding in that goal.”
“I told them we had to dominate the boards,” GC head coach Alexis Bird said. “When we dominate the boards, we are going to give ourselves a great chance to win the ball game.”
McKenna and Jayden Beach nearly combined to outrebound the entire Sky View (9-5, 1-3) team. Beach matched McKenna as she also grabbed 13 boards as the Wolves finished with 44 rebounds to the Bobcats’ 28.
“They (Wolves) had some timely rebounds and were able to put them back up,” SV head coach Vanessa Hall said. “Rebounds were huge tonight. Those are fundamentals that we will go back to practice and work on. … We’ve got to come together as a team and right the ship. Our goals are not out of reach.”
In other region action Thursday night, Ridgeline and Logan remained perfect and on a collision course next week. The Riverhawks won at Mountain Crest, 62-52, while the Grizzlies also picked up a road win at Bear River, 60-44.
The Bobcats got off to a good start, scoring the first five points and racing out to a 14-7 lead as five different athletes scored.
The Wolves scored the final seven points of the opening quarter to tie the game at 14-14 when Beach hit two free throws, Brook Monson turned an offensive rebound into a layup, and McKenna drilled a 3-pointer off a pass from Landree Spackman.
Green Canyon kept the momentum to start the second quarter, scoring the first five points to take its first lead of the game as Spackman sank a trey and Sarah Blau made a layup.
“I was never worried because I’ve seen these girls be gritty,” Bird said. “These girls can fight and I know that.”
The Bobcats stole the momentum back and finished the first half off with a 14-2 run. Macy Hellstern turned a steal into a layup to spark the surge. Addey Merrill added four points, Kaitlyn Hiatt made a layup, Hellstern sank three free throws, and Kaytlin Smart drilled a 3-pointer. Sky View took a 36-28 lead into the break.
“That first half was great,” Hall said. “We played well defensively and offensively. The second half was just a different story.”
The Wolves responded with their strong start in the third quarter. McKenna had two buckets, McKenna Crane sank four free throws and Blau hit a 3-pointer as the visitors took a 39-36 lead.
“To start the second half we told the girls we needed to go one possession at a time, get a defensive stop and then a good sequence on offense,” Bird said. “They did a great job being patient on offense and getting each other open.”
The Bobcats first points of the second half came at the 2:13 mark when Hiatt hit two free throws. Sky View’s lone field goal of the third quarter came with six seconds left when Abbey Cantwell hit a shot from beyond the arc.
Green Canyon took a 47-42 lead into the final period. The Wolves scored the first four points of the fourth. Sky View would get no closer than five the rest of the way, and Green Canyon put it away by making its final six free throws.
“We went cold at the wrong time,” Hall said. “They got hot. That third quarter was a huge swing. When you go that cold, it’s hard to get it back.”
Three other Wolves joined McKenna in double-figure scoring in Spackman (15), Monsoon (15) and Beach (10). Spackman had four assists, while Madi Peterson came up with three steals.
Hellstern led the Bobcats with 14 points. Merrill added 11 points off the bench. Gracie Rigby chipped in nine points. Melanie Hiatt led the team in rebounding with six.
There were several scary moments for Green Canyon in the game. Peterson collapsed at the end of the first quarter, but did return to action later in the game. Then with less than two minutes to play Blau went down and had to be helped off the court in obvious pain.
“A lot of people don’t know all the adversity these girls have had to go through as a team,” Bird said. “... I don’t have kids of my own, so these girls are like my kids. I know we will rally regardless of the health. That is what is special about this team. They truly care about each other. We were happy to get the win, but somber because it is hard to see two of your own go down.”
RIVERHAWKS 62, MUSTANGS 52
At Hyrum, Ridgeline set the tone early, withstood a Mountain Crest rally in the third and finished strong to stay atop the region standings with Logan.
The Riverhawks (11-4, 4-0) built a 20-8 lead after the first quarter and took a 33-14 advantage into halftime. The Mustangs (6-9, 1-3) got within 43-34 to start the third quarter, but could never overtake the visitors.
“While we played a great second half, we just gave up way too many points in the first,” MC head coach Megan Smith said. “You can’t expect to win games when you have 10 or more turnovers in 16 minutes. But there’s one thing these Mustangs don’t lack and it’s grit. No matter the score, we play to compete. You can knock us down, but we get back up, and we will continue to fight back until that final horn.”
Ridgeline had three players reach double-figure scoring. Haley Anderson led the Riverhawks with a game-high 22 points, dished out three assists and came up with four steals. Sarah Litchford netted 15 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked five shots. Nia Damuni added 11 points and a game-best seven assists. Macie Brown pulled down a team-best nine rebounds.
“Another battle,” Ridgeline head coach Ainsli Jenks said. “We had a lead going into the second half, but Mountain Crest brought lots of intensity and didn’t let up. We have a great region. We know every night will be tough. I’m proud of my girls for closing it out against another tough region opponent.”
The Mustangs were led by Havyn Brown with 19 points as she sank a trio of 3-pointers. Sadie Coggins chipped in 10 points, and Paige LaRocco added seven points.
GRIZZLIES 60, BEARS 44
In a battle of bruins at Garland, the visitors delivered the first blow.
Logan (10-3, 4-0) jumped out to a 15-5 lead after the first quarter. The Grizzlies weathered an even second quarter to take a 30-21 lead into halftime against the Bears (5-10, 0-4). The visitors outscored the hosts in each of the last two quarters to secure the victory and set up a big game next Tuesday at home against Ridgeline.
“It was Bear River’s Senior Night, so we knew they were going to put up a good fight,” Logan head coach Morganne Madsen said. “We responded well with our defensive effort and grinding offensively.”
The Grizzlies hit seven 3-pointers as a team and three players in double figures scoring wise. Taylor Rose led the way with a game-high 19 points. Amber Kartchner netted 17 points, and Alec Kennington added 10.
Olivia Taylor led the Bears with 14 points.
PIRATES 73, DRAGONS 72, OT
It took an extra four minutes, but West Side was able to run its winning streak to nine Thursday night at Malad.
The Pirates nearly tasted defeat as they trailed late in regulation. Bryler Shurtliff sank three free throws to send the game to overtime.
“Malad hit big shot after big shot on us,” WS head coach Tyler Brown said. “They played great. We were very fortunate to win.”
Blaize Brown led the Pirates with 20 points. Shurtliff added 16 points. Ethan Henderson chipped in 12 points and Brentan Noreen had 10.