With just a week left in the regular season, the Tooele girls basketball team is looking to go into the postseason on a high note.
Holding an opponent scoreless for an entire quarter certainly qualifies.
The Buffaloes outscored visiting Ben Lomond 17-0 in the third period and didn’t allow a field goal for nine minutes, rolling to a 39-25 win over the Scots in a Region 10 game Monday night at Tooele High School. Tooele (9-10, 6-4 Region 10) allowed just six points total over the first three quarters, and only gave up seven field goals in the game.
The Buffs led the Scots (2-14, 0-10) 15-6 at halftime, putting together a 7-0 run over a span of just under three minutes that included a corner 3-pointer by Mercedes McKinley to take control of a low-scoring affair. Then, their suffocating defense went to work in the third quarter, forcing seven Ben Lomond turnovers that led to easy layups in transition.
Rylie Hogan got Tooele started in the third quarter with a corner jumper from just inside the 3-point line. Then, Aysha Lewis found Emma Higley open under the basket for an easy layup, putting the Buffs up 19-6 and forcing Ben Lomond coach Chelsye Saulsberry to call timeout to try to slow Tooele down.
It didn’t work, as Tooele picked off steals on each of the Scots’ next two possessions. The second steal resulted in another basket by Hogan to make it 21-6. Later in the quarter, a Tooele steal led to an open layup by Lewis. The Scots tried to make a substitution with 2:43 left in the period, but the substitute they put into the game wasn’t listed in the official scorebook, leading to a technical foul. Lewis knocked down both free throws to keep the Tooele run going.
Higley added a free throw with 1:52 left in the quarter, Madi Baker hit a corner 3-pointer and Lewis added another breakaway layup off a steal to make it 31-6. Sydnee Gustin hit 1-of-2 from the free-throw line in the final seconds of the quarter to extend the lead to 26 points.
Tooele emptied its bench in a sloppy fourth quarter that saw the teams combine for 11 turnovers and 14 fouls. Ben Lomond didn’t break double-figures until a pair of Janessa Coleman free throws with 2:51 left in the game made the score 37-11, and was able to close the gap further thanks to a 9-of-15 effort from the foul line in the final quarter.
Lewis led the Buffaloes with 11 points on Senior Night. Baker and Hogan each scored six points, as did Breanna Beer. McKinley and Higley each had four points, and Gustin and Zada Jackson each scored one.
Coleman led the Scots with 11 points, and Avery Beadles had eight points. Dawnavin Frye had four points and Mya Anderson scored two for the Scots.
Tooele played host to Cedar Valley in a Region 10 game that was not complete at press time Tuesday. The Buffaloes will wrap up the regular season Thursday in Vernal against Uintah.