To the delight of head coach Morganne Madsen, her Grizzlies didn’t suffer a letdown after Tuesday’s big victory over two-time defending Region 11 champion Ridgeline.
No even close.
Instead, Logan’s girls basketball team got after Mountain Crest defensively from the get-go, shared the ball offensively and rolled to a 64-25 victory over the Mustangs on Thursday night at Crimson Gym. In the process, the Grizzlies extended their winning streak to eight and remaining atop the region standings.
“It was super satisfying,” Madsen said. “That is something you’re always concerned about as a coach and that’s something we talked about (that) we have to keep our foot on the gas pedal and we can’t touch the breaks whatsoever. So just keep going out playing our game, and that’s what we did.”
Sadie Coggins buried a 3-pointer on the Mustangs’ first possession of the game, giving the visitors a 3-2 lead, but the Grizzlies immediately responded with a 11-0 run. Logan also went on spurts of 10-0 in the second quarter and 9-0 in the third to blow the game open.
Logan (12-3, 6-0) harassed Mountain Crest (6-11, 1-5) into 18 turnovers in the game and made it difficult for the visitors to complete a simple pass at times, especially in the early going.
“We’re really tough when it comes to that,” LHS senior Taylor Rose said. “We all just have that mindset before we go in and defense (leads to) our offense, so it just fuels us to keep going and pushing.”
Logan star Amber Kartchner dominated in all facets of the game as she contributed with 25 points, 14 rebounds, seven steals and five blocks. The senior outscored Mountain Crest by herself in the opening half, 15-13, as the hosts took a commanding 29-13 advantage into the locker room.
As well as Kartchner, who knocked down four 3-balls, played, she received plenty of help from her teammates. For starters, Rose netted seven of her 13 points in a three-minute stretch of the third quarter, Alec Kennington finished with six points, seven assists and six boards and nine Grizzlies scored in the contest.
“Tonight was big,” Madsen said. “I’m super proud of the way my team is playing. I love the chemistry we have, the support, that we have each others’ backs, and then just to have a night like tonight where everybody that wasn’t hurt could go in and play and score a bucket (was awesome).”
Simply put, it was a game filled with good plays by Logan, and arguably the most memorable one took place at the end of the third quarter. Some crisp ball movement led to an Izabelle Rudd trey in the waning seconds of the quarter. The hosts strung together at least 10 passes during the possession.
“Yeah, I’m super confident that my team is going to be patient, composed and share the ball as they see fit,” Madsen said. “That was a great play to end the quarter.”
Another thing the Grizzlies did well was get high-percentage shots off inbound passes. Case in point: Logan scored four baskets on inbounds plays, plus got to the free throw line on another occasion.
“We’ve just gone over them in practice and we’ve learned to execute, and we know where the pass should go and what should be open, depending on how the other team defends it,” Madsen said.
Paige LaRocco and freshman Kali Jones led Mountain Crest with six points apiece. The Mustangs were more aggressive offensively at the beginning of the second quarter and it resulted in back-to-back buckets by Lexie Coggins and Jones to pare their deficit to 17-11. Sadie Coggins made a beautiful pass to set up Jones.
Unfortunately for the visitors, the hosts bounced back with 10 unanswered points and never looked back. The Mustangs were able to get some good looks from the perimeter, but the only 3-pointer they converted on was the aforementioned one at the beginning of the first quarter.
OTHER REGION 11 GAMES
For the second time this season, Ridgeline edged Green Canyon ‑‑‑ this time at home, 53-50, while Sky View completed a series sweep of Bear River by prevailing in Garland, 61-48.
The two Ridgeline-Green Canyon showdowns have been decided by a combined four points. The Riverhawks (12-5, 5-1) trailed the Wolves (11-5, 3-3) after the first quarter, 15-13, and at the half, 31-29, but limited the visitors to six points in the third quarter and played well enough down the stretch to get the win.
Sarah Litchford finished with 18 points and seven rebounds for Ridgeline, which got 14 points and three steals from Haley Anderson and nine points from Elise Livingston. Additionally, Anderson become the first player in program history to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier.
“Another great region game,” RHS head coach Ainsli Jenks said. “It was close all game and both teams came to battle. Our girls got rebounds and stops at critical times, and knocked down some shots when we really needed them. An awesome team win against a very good team.”
Jayden Beach contributed with 17 points and six rebounds for the Wolves, who got 12 points and nine boards from Maren McKenna, nine points and nine boards from Landree Spackman and 10 points from Brooke Monson.
“We are extremely proud of our team and the way they battled tonight,” GC head coach Alexis Bird said. “Losing another close game to Ridgeline is definitely heartbreaking. The girls wanted it so bad and prepared extremely well, but unfortunately we don’t always get what we want. We love this team and wouldn’t trade even one of them.”
Meanwhile, Sky View (11-5, 3-3) jumped out to a 13-5 lead over Bear River (5-12, 0-6) and coasted to its second win this week. The Bobcats outscored the Bears in each of the first three quarters and took a 18-point advantage into the fourth.
Macy Hellstern paced the Bobcats with 18 points, followed by Gracie Rigby with 17 and Hannah Radford with 12. Olivia Taylor poured in a game-high 22 points for the Bears.
“Tonight was a great team win,” SV head coach Vanessa Hall said. “In the first half we were able to make good decisions offensively, we shared the basketball well and played tough defense. Bear River fought back in the fourth quarter, but our girls were able to fight through the adversity and knocked down some clutch free throws down the stretch.”
FRANKLIN COUNTY TEAMS
Both Franklin County teams lost in nailbiting fashion in their respective district tournaments. Century beat Preston at home, 40-35, while West Side lost a 49-47 heartbreaker to Soda Springs on the road.
Top-seeded Century (15-5) and second-seeded Preston (16-7) were within a few points of each other for nearly the entire contest. The Diamondbacks were able to outscore the Indians 11-6 in the fourth quarter and advance to the 4A Fifth District Tournament championship game.
Century beat Preston by a combined five points in their two regular season showdowns. Both teams are ranked in the top five in the latest 4A media and coaches polls.
Riley Ward finished with a team-high 10 points for Preston. Kylie Larsen chipped in with nine points and seven rebounds, and Sydnee Marlow dished out five assists.
Preston will now host Pocatello in an elimination game next Tuesday.
West Side (7-13) took Soda Springs (10-11) down to the wire after getting blown out the last time the two teams squared off. The third-seeded Pirates did beat the second-seeded Cardinals for the first time in several years earlier this season.
Natalie Lemmon and Kajsia Fuller combined for 30 points for West Side, which got seven points from Jocie Phillips.
“My girls played with so much heart,” WS head coach Bob Sorensen said. “Jocie dislocated her jaw and played through it. Physical game, but my girls remained so mentally strong. Very proud of them.”
West Side will travel to top-seeded Aberdeen and play the Tigers in an elimination game on Saturday.