Grantsville devoured fifth-ranked Wasatch on the Wasps’ own stomping grounds Saturday in state playoff action.
Now the Cowgirls face third-ranked Canyon View on a neutral court today in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A State Girls Basketball tournament. The affair is set to begin tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the E-Center in West Valley City.
But don’t expect Grantsville to be dismayed about playing a talented Canyon View squad. In fact, the Cowgirls know they belong and are out to prove they are a team to be feared.
Grantsville has beat formerly ranked squads Ogden, Juan Diego and Lehi and has played top-ranked Morgan twice on the season and met Class 4A foe Orem as well.
The Cowgirls now sport a glossy 16-6 overall on the season.
Grantsville Coach Butch Boegler says his team is ready for another tough challenge in the state tournament.
“They are a very, very good team and well coached,” Boegler noted.
“They have been ranked all year. And we’re going to have to press them and turn it into an up-tempo game. We need to turn it into a track meet and if we do that, we have a good chance of winning. We’re going in with the mindset that we deserve to be there and we’re out to prove we’re one of the better teams in the state this year. We’re looking forward to the challenge of being one of the best eight teams in the state and finishing as high as we can in the state.”
Tickets to the game are $4 for students pre-sale, or $5 for students and senior citizens, and $6 for adults.
A victory over the highly touted Lady Falcons today boosts Grantsville into the state semis against the winner between Judge Memorial and Carbon Friday at 2:30 p.m. at the E-Center in West Valley City. A setback against Canyon View drops the Cowgirls into a consolation bracket game Friday at 11:10 a.m. against the loser of the Judge Memorial-Carbon contest.
Grantsville 49 – Wasatch 41 The Cowgirls returned a number of three- and four-year starters and sported the scoring balance, speed and athleticism to compete with anyone. Grantsville needed all of its depth, variety and quickness to register a tough road victory over fifthranked Wasatch Saturday at Heber City.
A swarming Cowgirl defense forced the Lady Wasps into 19 turnovers and a poor shooting night.
Grantsville ventured to Heber City Saturday due to finishing as a third seed in Region 11 and met the higher seeded and ranked Wasatch squad in the opening round of the playoffs.
Grantsville opened up the game with a 5-0 run when Emmi Nelson hit a layup and Shalane Titmus buried a 3-point bomb.
However the Wasps rallied back with seven unanswered points to take a slim 7-5 cushion, thanks to layups from Shanna Woodruff and Kirra Oldham and a 3-point bomb from Chelsey Mecham.
Titmus countered with a layup just seconds later to force the game into a 7-7 deadlock after one period expired.
The Cowgirls grabbed an 11-10 lead when Alexa Bakker took a perfect feed from Nelson for a layup and Titmus fired in a 12- foot jumper.
But the Lady Wasps bounced back with six straight points when Heather Kohler buried a pair of charity tosses, Oldham canned another and Jessica Gomez flipped in a 3-point shot to seize a 16-11 lead with only 1:31 left until the halftime break.
Grantsville battled back to forge into an intermission deadlock.
Nelson fueled a 5-0 run with a 3-point missile and recorded a steal and fired a perfect pass to a fast-breaking Sara Reed for a layup and the game was tied once again at 16-16.
The Cowgirls went into the halftime break with five girls in foul trouble with two each, including the leading scorers on the team in Nelson, Titmus and Chaney.
However, instead of playing timid, Grantsville came out aggressive and charged into the third quarter with a pressing style of defense and forced Wasatch into numerous turnovers and easy baskets in transition. Stevie North began the second-half of action with a 3-point bomb to ignite the Lady Wasps early. But the stingy Cowgirl defense would force the Lady Wasps into seven turnovers and a dismal one for eight shooting performance for the remainder of the period.
Wasatch would only produce six more points for the remaining 7:22 of the frame.
Titmus put in a rebound and free throw to forge to a tie seconds later, but Lady Wasp guard Mecham countered with a layup at the 4:30 mark of the stanza.
Then, Grantsville took command. The Cowgirls reeled off a furious 15-4 barrage, including a 12-0 run in the final 4:10 of the pivotal period to seize total control of the affair. Brooke Bunderson recorded a steal and fired a pass to an open Nelson for a fast-break layup to begin the outburst. Nelson quickly buried a 3-point bomb and then returned the favor to record a steal and toss a pass to an open Bunderson for a layup. Nelson then found Chaney for her first points of the contest and Titmus drilled another 3-point missile to stake Grantsville to a whopping 31-21 cushion with still 1:12 left in the frame.
North did counter with four straight free throws, but Nelson gave the Cowgirls a huge lift with a 3-point bomb at the third quarter horn and Grantsville relished a 34-25 lead and only eight minutes remaining in the game.
Chaney caught fire in the early portion of the final frame with four points in a 45-second span to give the Cowgirls a double digit edge at 39-29.
Grantsville seized their biggest lead of the game just one minute later when Nelson countered a Woodruff layup with a threepoint play and the Cowgirls lead ballooned to 42-31 and only 3:04 left in the affair.
Wasatch made their final rally of the game in the following two minutes when Woodruff connected on a 12-foot jumper, Kohler recorded a steal and layup and Mecham added a layup to slice the deficit to just 43-37 and 1:39 remaining in the tilt.
Chaney benefited on a fastbreak from Titmus to Nelson to Chaney layup and Rachael Anderson canned a free throw. The Lady Wasps would close to within 46-41 on a pair of Tara Gehring free throws and Mecham layup with 30 seconds left.
But Anderson recorded two crucial blocks and a pair of key rebounds in the waning seconds of Woodruff shots to stem any hopes of a Wasatch comeback and Nelson followed with a pair of free throws and Titmus added another to sew up the playoff triumph.
The tandem of Nelson and Titmus combined for 32 of the team’s 49 points on the night.
Nelson led all scorers in the contest with 18 points and Titmus fired in 14. Chaney overcame foul trouble to produce six huge points in the final frame and help Grantsville stem a Wasatch comeback bid and advance to the Class 3A State girls basketball tournament this week at the E-Center in West Valley City.
Woodruff was the lone double figure performer for the hosts with 10 points and Mecham pumped in nine. North also contributed seven for the Lady Wasps as well.