Grantsville knew it had to play well to hand Bear River its firstever setback to the local girls hoop program since the Lady Bears joined the region ranks.
And the Cowgirls did just exactly that – for over three quarters.
However, the fourth period proved a little difficult for Grantsville to close out and the Cowgirls fell just shy of posting their initial victory over the Lady Bears.
Bear River rallied for a 13-6 outburst in the fourth quarter of the affair to force a 47-47 tie at the end of regulation and reeled off a 13-0 run in overtime to capture a hard fought 60-47 triumph last Thursday in Tremonton.
The hard fought victory wrapped up second place for Bear River in the Region 11 girls standings with a 7-3 league mark while the setback dropped Grantsville into third place at 6-4 in region action and 15-6 overall on the season.
The loss also means the Cowgirls will hit the road Saturday to tangle with Region 8 co-champion Wasatch in Heber City at 7 p.m. in a Class 3A Girls State Basketball playoff. The Lady Wasps tied with Uintah for first place in the league ranks but lost a coin toss to earn the second place seed and a home date with Grantsville in the playoff.
The winner of Saturday’s playoff advances to the double-elimination portion of the Class 3A State Girls Basketball tournament Feb. 24-26 at the E-Center in West Valley City. The loser of the game will be eliminated from post-season action.
Grantsville Coach Butch Boegler said his team is out to prove on Saturday the Cowgirls belong with the elite Class 3A girls basketball teams.
“We have the state playoffs coming up Saturday and we know we’re a good team,” he said. “We need to be focused and on the same page. Wasatch is a good team and they have a good program and a lot of tradition. We’re going to have to play our best game and I think we will. I think the girls are out to prove a point with the 3A and that is that we’re one of the best 3A teams in the state this year.”
Grantsville 63 – Tooele 45
The Cowgirls reeled off the game’s first 15 points and never trailed the rest of the way en route to a league triumph over county neighbor the Lady Buffs last Tuesday at Grantsville.
Emmi Nelson ignited the Cowgirls early with three field goals while Shalane Titmus chipped in with a pair of baskets and Sara Reed contributed another. Titmus capped the 15-0 explosion to open the game with a 3-point bomb at the 3:26 mark of the opening period and Grantsville was off to a strong start.
Amy Petersen snapped the Lady Buff scoring drought with a rebound lay up at the 2:50 mark and Meredith Nigh followed with a 3-point missile to cut the deficit to 15-5.
Grantsville closed out the fateful frame with an eight-foot jumper from Rachael Anderson and Titmus fired a perfect pass to Reed for a fast break lay up and spot the hosts a huge 19-5 lead.
Tooele refused to fold and battled back in an attempt to make a game of it. The Lady Buffs reeled off a 9-2 flurry to close to within 21-14 with 4:34 left until intermission. Megan Dunn fired in three lay ups, including one off a perfect feed from Elva Banford, while Banford followed with a five-foot jumper and free throw to fuel the comeback bid.
Grantsville kept its poise and answered right back with a 13-5 to regain command of the contest with a sizable 34-19 cushion and 16.5 ticks left until intermission. Nelson ignited the pivotal barrage with six points, including a 3-point bomb, and buried three of four free throws as well. Titmus recorded a steal and lay up and 3-point missile as well to aid the effort. Brooke Bunderson completed the pivotal rally with a pair of charity tosses.
Tooele didn’t help itself either, hitting just five of 12 free throws in the pivotal surge.
Banford did close out the firsthalf with a pair of charity tosses to make the contest a 13-point tilt and still two quarters of action remaining.
Little did Grantsville know, that it would go 3:22.4 without scoring a point and Tooele registered an 8-0 assault to open the third period and get back into the game, trailing just 34-29 with 5:51 left in the session. Dunn led the Lady Buff comeback with seven points, including a three-point play, and Banford hit one of two free throws and fired a pair of perfect passes to lead to Dunn lay ups and ignite the comeback.
Tooele had a chance to cut even further into the deficit but a pair of turnovers thwarted the Lady Buff rally.
Jordan Chaney then gave the Cowgirls a huge boost with a pair of free throws and made a perfect feed to Alexa Bakker for a lay up to counter a basket by Tooele’s Petersen.
Dunn buried a free throw to pull Tooele back to within six, 38-32. But the Lady Buffs misfired on their next four shots and committed two turnovers and Grantsville took full advantage of the opportunity.
Bakker gave the Cowgirls another big boost with a threepoint play and Nelson fired in a 3-point bomb to stake Grantsville to a 44-31 cushion. Tooele would never recover the rest of the way.
Haylee Folta hit a rebound basket but Titmus hit a lay up, Bunderson recorded a steal and Nelson put in a rebound basket to give the hosts a commanding 48-33 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Grantsville outscored Tooele 15-12 in the final frame of the game to complete the pivotal triumph. Nelson led the way with six points and Titmus joined in with five more. Reed and Chaney also added a basket each to trigger the triumph.
Banford poured in five points and Petersen provided four, including a 3-point basket, to pave the way for the Lady Buffs down the stretch. Dunn canned a pair of free throws and Sam Thomas added another charity toss.
Emmi Nelson pumped in a game high 25 and Titmus netted 19 for the victors. Reed also provided six points and Alexa Bakker tossed in five.
Dunn led the Lady Buffs attack with a team high 16 and Banford fired in 13. Petersen also flipped in nine and Nigh tossed in four.