SMITHFIELD — It was a quiet first three quarters for Bobcat sharpshooter Mikali Hendricks, but the senior sure heated up when it really mattered.
Hendricks buried two huge 3-pointers and scored all eight of her points in the fourth quarter, Gracie Rigby knocked down five clutch free throws and Sky View came from behind to beat Green Canyon 42-38 in a pivotal Region 11 girls basketball game on Tuesday night.
“It felt way good to help my team, especially when we needed it the most,” Hendricks said. “That was a big win for us.”
Big victories have kind of been a recent trend for the Bobcats, who increased their winning streak to five. Sky View (11-10, 6-3) handed Ridgeline its first league loss last Thursday and, with Tuesday’s triumph, pulled into a second-place tie with Green Canyon (15-5, 6-3) in the region standings.
“You know, we have a saying ‘it’s a great day to be a Bobcat,’ and it’s definitely a great day to be a Bobcat,” SV head coach Vanessa Hall said. “These girls, they’ve just been working so hard and basketball’s a long season. We’ve got a lot of breaks in there and it’s a long season, and they are just day in and day out playing hard, giving us everything they’ve got, and it’s paying off.”
Easy baskets were hard to come by for either team in Tuesday’s showdown, but the Bobcats were able to take advantage when they went to the free throw line — in a massive way. Sky View went 9 for 10 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter and 15 for 18 in the contest.
The hosts calmly drained three straight front ends of one-and-ones — two by Rigby and one by Hendricks — as part of seven successful freebies in a row to keep the visitors at bay in the waning minutes of the game.
“I’m really proud of my team because those (free throws) are super important, especially at the end of the game like that,” Hendricks said. “And we practice them all of the time, and I’m happy we (put ourselves) in that position in the game to finish it out.”
Sky View took its first lead of the second half at 26-25 on Hendricks’ first 3-ball early in the fourth quarter. No. 11’s second trey gave the Bobcats a 29-27 advantage — one they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Wolves had an opportunity to pull away when Kinley Falslev sank a deep 3, giving the visitors a 24-17 lead pretty early in the third quarter. Unfortunately for Green Canyon, it didn’t score the rest of the quarter, and Sky View went on a 6-0 run to set the stage for a tight finish.
“Honestly, offensively it never felt like we got going,” GC head coach Alexis Bird said. “We tried a bunch of different sets. Give Sky View credit. We hit some shots, got a lead and then get them get back in it. Defensively, I thought we were solid.”
The Bobcats were able to avenge a loss to the Wolves last month in large part by not giving their rivals too many transition opportunities. Green Canyon can be deadly on the fastbreak, but it only managed one transition bucket Tuesday.
“Green Canyon, we know how deadly they are from beyond the arc and we know how they like to get out and run, and it was just huge we were able to take that (transition) away,” Hall said. “Last time that hurt us, the last time we played them.”
Macey Hellstern was rock solid for the Bobcats as she finished with a game-high 11 points and knocked down all six of her foul shots. Rigby chipped in with nine points.
Jordyn Thompson, Shante’ Falslev and Kinley Falslev each netted 10 points for the Wolves, and Thompson added 10 rebounds. Allee McKenna pulled down a team-best 11 boards.
“The girls had a great end-of-game talk with each other,” Bird said. “They did most of the talking and (pointed out) things they want to work on, and things that they want to be held accountable for. And that’s what you want to see. It wasn’t anybody blaming anybody, it was just, ‘hey, this is something we collectively can do,’ and that to me is a good sign of how we’re going to bounce back.”
RIVERHAWKS 50, MUSTANGS 31
Ridgeline rebounded from its setback to Sky View by sweeping the season series with Mountain Crest. The visiting Riverhawks (16-5, 8-1) outscored the Mustangs (6-15, 0-9) by at least six points in each of the first three quarters.
Emma Anderson sparkled for Ridgeline and she finished with 21 points and seven boards. Brayli Jenks contributed 10 points, seven assists and four steals.
“We had some girls limited by illness and had girls come off the bench and do some good things for us,” RHS head coach Ainsli Jenks said. “It was a good team win.”
Birkli Barerra, Lexie Coggins and Teagan Hall scored six points apiece for Mountain Crest, which also got five rebounds, two assists and two steals from Hall.
BEARS 42, GRIZZLIES 37
Logan was ultimately unable to overcame a rough first half in which it only managed seven points and was outscored 17-0 in the second quarter by host Bear River.
Amber Kartchner led the Grizzlies in points (13), rebounds (nine) and steals (four), while Ginger Anderson matched the junior with nine boards. Emily Thurston added eight points for Logan (12-8, 4-5).
Olivia Taylor and Ashley Roberts teamed up for 25 points for Bear River (8-12, 3-6), which salvaged a season split with Logan.
INDIANS 48, BRUINS 37
Preston (17-7) kept its season alive by pulling away from visiting Twin Falls (15-7) in a district tournament elimination game. The second-seeded Indians will now host fourth-seeded Jerome (16-8) for the district’s third and final spot to the 4A state tournament on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Hailey Meek came up big on both ends of the court for Preston as she tallied 13 points and eight of her team’s 11 steals. Cassee Pugmire scored 12 points — all on shots from downtown — and Kylie Larsen chipped in with eight points and eight rebounds for the Indians, who also beat the fifth-seeded Bruins during the regular season.
Preston outscored Twin Falls 13-5 in the third quarter to take control after the teams went into the halftime break knotted up at 22-all.
“The girls played really well tonight,” PHS head coach Ryan Harris said. “I thought the key was starting fast in each half. Cassee got us going early in the first half, and Hailey created a bunch of steals at the start of the second half that helped us get some buckets. I’m really proud of the girls. With their backs against the wall, they came out and played with confidence and energy.”
PREP BOYS HOOPS
West Side honored its six seniors by blowing out Aberdeen (3-17, 0-6) for the second time this season and clinching the 2A Fifth District title outright with still one game remaining. The Pirates (17-3, 7-0) have been triumphant in 17 of their last 18 contests.
Isaac Frankman and Connor Nielsen netted 13 points apiece for West Side, while Bryler Shurtliff added 11 and Ryan Beckstead eight. The Pirates exploded for 41 points in the middle two quarters to bury the Tigers.
“It was Senior Night (and) I have six great kids — Isaac Frankman, Ryan Beckstead, Connor Nielsen, Jaxon Moser, Ty Ward and Adam Headworth. It was great to get a win for them,” WS head coach Tyler Brown said.