On Feb. 13, the Bear River girls basketball squad traveled to Cache Valley to finish the regular season against Green Canyon and were defeated by 10 points.
Nine days later, they found themselves in the same building against the same team — this time in the second round of the state 4A playoffs. The result was also similar, as the host Wolves came away with a 65-40 victory on Saturday and advanced to the quarterfinals to face Juan Diego this Thursday at Weber State University.
Three days earlier, however, the Bears got the chance to play at home one last time this season and didn’t waste the opportunity, doubling up the visiting Ben Lomond Scots in a 48-24 win in the first round. It was the girls’ largest margin of victory since defeating tiny Merit College Prep Academy 56-8, way back on Dec. 4 last year.
The Bears jumped on the Scots early and led 29-7 at halftime, allowing them cruise to a win. Olivia Taylor led all scorers with 16 points while Carlee Miller, who hadn’t been on the radar for most of the season, had a solid all-around effort with eight points and seven rebounds.
The win set the stage for the rematch with Green Canyon, which finished second in Region 11 this season while the Bears came in fifth.
Much like Bear River did to Ben Lomond, the Wolves built a big lead early and were up 33-17 at the half. The second half was more competitive, but the lead was too much to overcome against a strong Green Canyon team.
Taylor and McKenzie Bywater led the Bears with 10 points apiece. The Wolves’ Jordyn Thompson led all scorers in the game with 22 points.
The Bears finish the 2019-20 season with an overall record of 9-14, including a 3-7 mark in region play. They will have plenty to figure out for next season, as they are losing much of their firepower from departing seniors Bywater, Ashlee Roberts, Kati Gibbs, Abbie Fuhriman, Mackenzie Lorimer, Rheagan Hartfiel and Raegan Steed.
Taylor, who came on stronger and stronger as the season progressed, will be a senior next year and figures to be the unquestioned leader as the team moves into a new era.