47-44 is a score that will conjure both good and bad memories for the Bear River High girls basketball program this offseason.
Three days after upsetting Green Canyon in the 4A state tournament by that score, the Bears gave a valiant effort, but fell to Region 11 champions Logan in a quarterfinal matchup on Monday, March 1.
The final score? 47-44 — but this time in favor of the Grizzlies.
In a battle of the bruins, the ones from Cache County were able to hold off the upset-minded ones from Garland. Logan never trailed in the contest, but certainly had to sweat it out against Bear River. The Bears just kept clawing back after getting down by double digits.
A 6-0 run by the Grizzlies late in the fourth quarter ended up being just enough in Richfield at the Sevier Valley Center. Logan withstood a furious rally by the Bears and advanced to the semifinals. The Grizzlies eventually made it to the state championship game, where they lost to Sky View by two points.
“It’s always hard playing a team three times,” Grizzly head coach Morganne Madsen said. “Bear River put up a good fight.”
Indeed the Bears did. Bear River scored seven straight points in the final 32 seconds to make it really close.
Grizzlies star Amber Kartchner finished with a game-high 18 points.
Kartchner was tasked with guarding Olivia Taylor, who has been the Bears most consistent scorer all season. Taylor had just two points at halftime, but did heat up with 13 of her team-best 15 in the second half and 11 of those in the fourth quarter. Kate Dahle also reached double figures, scoring 11 for the Bears.
The 3-point shot helped Logan build an early lead. The Grizzlies had seven from beyond the arc for the game.
Logan made four 3-pointers early on to take a 12-2 lead with 4:24 left to play in the first quarter, but the Bears responded with a 7-0 run. Bear River scored the first four points of the second quarter and had a chance to tie or take the lead, but missed free throws, and Logan took a 27-21 lead into the break.
Logan took its largest lead of the game, 37-26, with 6:35 to play, but then Taylor heated up. She drilled a 3-pointer, drove in for another score and made four free throws as the Bears got within 41-37 with 2:25 left in the contest.
The Grizzlies went on a 6-0 run to take a 47-37 lead with 47 seconds to play, which was just enough of a lead to seal the win after the Bears made one last rally to keep it close.
It was an impressive run for the Bears, who weren’t expected to make much noise in the playoffs after going 1-9 in Region 11 play and finishing 8-17 overall. Bear River earned a spot in the quarterfinals by steamrolling Crimson Cliffs, 54-22, in the first round of the playoffs on Feb. 24 in Garland before dispatching the Wolves.
The team will have a different look next year after the departure of four seniors, most notably Taylor, who finished second in Region 11 individual scoring this season with 16.9 points per game.
The Herald Journal contributed to this article.