NORTH LOGAN — A strong start gave the Riverhawks the early lead, and the visitors just kept soaring.
Ridgeline kept its record perfect in Region 11 girls basketball action Thursday night. The Riverhawks withstood a late rally by Green Canyon and went on to win, 61-50.
“It’s pretty important to have a good start because it sets the tone for the game,” said Ridgeline post Emma Anderson, who finished with game bests of 20 points and 11 rebounds. “... We are definitely not a one-quarter team. We reset at the start of each quarter and try to start each quarter strong.”
It was the 10th straight win for the Riverhawks (14-4, 6-0 region) and their 14th victory in their last 15 games.
“The girls bought into the game plan and played good defense,” Ridgeline head coach Ainsli Jenks said. “We just keep taking it one game at a time. We know every night is a battle.”
The Riverhawks were clicking most of the first half after jumping out to a 9-2 lead to start the game. Four different Ridgeline players made field goals in the opening minutes to get the visitors off to a good start against the Wolves (13-4, 4-2) in a battle of the top teams in the league.
“These girls do love to come out of the gates,” Jenks said. “These girls enjoy being ahead. It’s fun to have a good start. I thought the first quarter was a great beginning. We shared the ball well and played great defense.”
The Riverhawks built a 18-9 lead after the first quarter and led 36-20 at the break. They were sharing the ball and finding the open teammate as 12 of the 14 field goals Ridgeline made in the first half were assisted. For the game, the Riverhawks had 19 assists on 22 field goals.
“We have really been dialing in on sharing the ball,” Jenks said. “If we share the ball, we are hard to guard. Green Canyon plays great defense, so we knew we had to make the extra pass. The 19 assists on 22 field goals makes a coach happy.”
While Anderson had another double-double Thursday night, she seemed more excited to hear her assist total. Anderson had four dimes.
“Sweet,” Anderson said about her assists. “One of our goals is to share the ball because we have so many talented players out there. The coach tells us if we share the ball, we will get our points. Everyone wants to score, but if we share we all get to score. I’m really proud of them (teammates).”
Brayli Jenks flirted with a double-double as the 3-point sharp-shooter was 5 of 6 from beyond the arc and finished with 17 points and a game-high eight assists. She also had five rebounds. Haley Anderson netted 11 points and dished out three assists.
Kennedy Eskelson was the lone Green Canyon player to reach double figures with 14 points. Shante’ Falslev had a team-best eight rebounds for the Wolves, while Allee Mckenna and Brooke Watkins each grabbed six rebounds. Kinley Falslev started, but was limited because she was sick and finished with five points and two assists.
“It’s hard for these seniors because they really wanted to beat Ridgeline,” GC head coach Alexis Bird said. “Hopefully we get them at state and get them that third time. ... Kinley tried, so give her credit for giving all she had, and I think she did help us.”
Expecting the Wolves to mount an attack to start the second half, Emma Anderson went to work inside. She scored the Riverhawks’ first seven points of the third quarter and had the final bucket as Ridgeline took a 52-36 lead into the final quarter.
Green Canyon scored the first four points of the fourth, but proceeded to miss five free throws, including the front end of a one-and-one. The Wolves did get within 11 points on several occasions, but could not get any closer.
“We missed some easy shot early,” Bird said. “It wasn’t like they weren’t trying. They were shots they make, but they just didn’t drop. It felt like we were trying to shoot through the middle of a needle and it looked like Ridgeline had an ocean. ... We battled in the second half. Nobody likes a moral victory, but that’s something we can be proud of.”
It was a good start to the second half of the region season for the Riverhawks.
“Every game in our region is a battle,” coach Jenks said. “We knew there was no safe number to be up because Green Canyon is a great team.”
GRIZZLIES 44, MUSTANGS 37
A pair of 3-pointers and enough free throws proved to be the difference in the fourth quarter at Hyrum.
The was knotted at 31-31 heading to the fourth quarter. Logan was able to finish strong as Amber Kartchner and Alec Kennington each hit a shot from beyond the arc and a pair of free throws. The Grizzlies (12-5, 4-2) outscored Mountain Crest (6-12, 0-6) 13-6 in the final period.
“Amber (Kartchner) was very good, rebounding, scoring and doing everything,” Logan head coach Josh Zentner said. “We did a good job of team defense and then getting free throws down the stretch to get a win.”
Kartchner finished with a game-best 18 points, grabbed eight rebounds, blocked three shots and had two assists. Kennington added 12 points.
The Mustangs were led by Havyn Brown with 14 points, while Birkli Barrera was close to double figures with nine points.
“We are getting better every game,” MC head coach Megan Smith said. “It might not feel like it to my girls, but they are better today than they were yesterday. We really need to focus on layups and free throws.”
Mountain Crest was 8 of 20 from the foul line.
BOBCATS 58, BEARS 46
It wasn’t the start Sky View wanted, but the ending in Smithfield made the Bobcats happy.
Sky View (8-10, 3-3) overcame a slow start to beat Bear River (6-11, 1-5) and get right back in the race for second place in the region. The Bobcats trailed the Bears 14-8 after the first eight minutes, but had a 24-21 lead at the break. In fact, Sky View outscored Bear River in the second, third and fourth quarters.
“We had another battle tonight,” SV head coach Vanessa Hall said. “I thought our girls fought back well in the first half after being down early. I thought we played very unselfish basketball and shared the ball well. Our posts stepped up and played big tonight, and our guards did a great job of knocking down shots. It was a good team win.”
Melanie Hiatt led four Bobcats in double figures with 16 points. Joining her were Macy Hellstern, Mikali Hendricks and Gracie Rigby with 12 points each.
Olivia Taylor scored a game-high 20 points for the Bears.
D-BACKS 49, INDIANS 29
It was a rough night for Preston at home against the defending 4A state champs.
Just over two weeks ago the Indians had played Century tough in Pocatello, losing 51-45. But it was a different story on Thursday as the Diamondbacks (16-3, 13-0) held Preston (15-5, 9-4) scoreless in the first quarter, taking a 10-0 lead. Century was up 22-11 at halftime and went on to record its eighth straight win.
Kylie Larsen led Preston with 11 points.
Future Wyoming player Lexi Buhl had 25 points for Century.
“We just had a tough go putting the ball in the hoop tonight,” PHS head coach Ryan Harrison said. “You have to give Century credit. They’re a really tough team and had a lot to do with our struggles. ... I was really happy with the effort our girls gave tonight. They played hard the whole game.”