A gratifying fourth-quarter comeback paved the way for Preston’s girls basketball team to earn a measure of revenge against Sugar-Salem.
The Indians came storming back from a 11-point fourth-quarter to force overtime, and then got four points from Riley Ward in the final 10 seconds of OT to escape with a 59-57 road victory over the Diggers on Tuesday night. Sugar-Salem (2-1), a perennial 3A state title contender, outlasted Preston in OT a year ago.
Preston also netted four points during the final 10 seconds of regulation to make it to overtime. An Akazia Knapp offensive rebound led to a Ward jumper in the final few seconds of the fourth quarter.
Ward finished with 19 points, five assists and three steals for Preston (2-1), which got 21 points, nine rebounds, four steals and three blocks from Mickayla Robertson. Hailey Meek chipped in with 11 points for the Indians.
OTHER GIRLS GAMES
Four other local girls teams were in action Tuesday and two of them returned to Cache County in triumphant fashion. Sky View (2-0) blew out Juan Diego (0-3) by a 60-33 scoreline, while Ridgeline rallied past Morgan, 70-64. Meanwhile, Logan (0-1) lost on the road to Layton Christian (1-0), 74-25, while Mountain Crest (1-1) hung tough at home against 6A Corner Canyon (1-1) before falling, 54-44.
The Bobcats outscored the Soaring Eagle by at least eight points in each of the first three quarters. Addey Merrill paced Sky View with 17 points, followed by Macy Hellstern with 11, Hannah Womack with eight and Melanie Hiatt with seven.
“We played a solid game from start to finish tonight,” SV head coach Vanessa Hall said. “I was really impressed with our team defense and the girls’ willingness to share the basketball. The girls were able to push the ball and get points in transition. We got contributions from a lot of girls that led to a balanced scoring attack. It was a great team win.”
The Riverhawks were able to outlast the Trojans in a back-and-forth game. Ridgeline outscored the hosts 24-17 in the final quarter.
It was another big game for Ridgeline freshman Emilee Skinner, who poured in 26 points. Elise Livingston contributed with 15 points for the Riverhawks, while Brinley Wiese added nine.
“We knew tonight would be a battle,” RHS head coach Ainsli Jenks said. “Morgan is a very good team that is well coached. Our girls’ effort never stopped and when we made some adjustments, that effort ultimately benefited us. I’m proud of them for working together to come away with a win.”
Mountain Crest and Corner Canyon were tied heading into the fourth quarter, but the visitors were able to pull away. The Mustangs battled back from a 21-9 deficit after eight minutes of action.
Sadie Coggins led Mountain Crest with 17 points, followed by Havyn Brown with 14.
Logan was no match for Layton Christian, which owned a 27-5 advantage after the opening quarter. Milly Garren netted a team-high eight points for the Grizzlies in their season opener.
TUESDAY BOYS GAMES
It was a great season opener for Sky View, which ventured south to 6A Weber (1-1) and dominated by a 80-57 scoreline. Meanwhile, Ridgeline (0-2) lost a 44-42 nailbiter on the road to 6A Fremont (1-0). Ridgeline’s two setbacks have been by a combined three points.
The Bobcats raced out to a 23-7 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Carter Davis contributed with 23 points for Sky View, followed by Logan Deal with 19, Hayden Howell with 12 and Josh Myers with eight.
“Fun way to start the season,” SV head coach Kirk Hillyard said. “Kids have battled hard for two weeks against each other. Nice to take that aggression out on someone else. Our defense is long and we played aggressive tonight. When we do that, I like our chances. Fun having them cheer for each other and share the ball.”
Fremont outscored Ridgeline 15-10 in the fourth quarter in its home and season opener. Kaden Cox scored 13 points for the Riverhawks, who got five blocked shots from Peyton Knowles.
WEDNESDAY BOYS GAME
Preston made its way north to the Beehive State and earned a gratifying overtime victory over 6A Syracuse, 67-56 in overtime. The Indians (2-0) poured in 14 points during the four minute of bonus basketball.
Ironically enough, Syracuse fell in overtime to another Cache Valley team, Green Canyon, a week ago.
“That was fun,” PHS head coach Tyler Jones said in a radio interview with KACH 1340. “That was exactly what we needed.”
Cam Hobbs shot lights out from the free throw line for Preston as he drained 13 of 14 freebies in his way to 18 points. Brecker Knapp also scored 18 points for the visitors, who got seven points each from Rhett Larson and Tyler Lindhardt.
“The last game we were five of 20 (from the line for) 25 percent, and then tonight — and I haven’t seen the total numbers yet — but I’m pretty sure we were at least 80 percent,” Jones said. “It seems like we made the majority of them and that’s what you need in a tight game.”