Trailing 43-40, Grantsville’s girls outscored Richfield 9-3 in the final 3 minutes of the game to edge the Wildcats 49-46 Friday night in Grantsville. Both Grantsville and Richfield are considered top tier teams in 3A basketball this season.
Richfield defeated Grantsville last season in another tight preseason contest 52-45 at Richfield.
Grantsville led 40-39 midway through the fourth quarter when Richfield’s Hallie Janes knocked down her fourth 3-point shot of the night to give the visitors a 42-40 advantage. Kate Robinson later connected on a foul shot and Richfield led 43-40 with possession.
Grantsville’s Kenzie Allen swiped the ball at midcourt and drove in for a layup to slice the lead to 43-42. After another Grantsville steal, a teammate found Allen on the move toward the hoop for a go-ahead basket, and the Cowboys took the lead 44-43 with 2:04 left in the game.
Allen grabbed another steal and was fouled hard on another shot at the basket. She was awarded two foul shots, and Grantsville maintained possession on the intentional foul.
Allen hit one of the two foul shots to inch ahead 45-43. Grantsville was able to gain possession again, and Allen beat her defender and scored again on a left-handed layup to give the Cowboys some breathing room at 47-43 with 1:43 remaining in the game.
Grantsville was able to burn about 1-minute off the clock, until a Richfield made foul shot sliced the Cowboys’ lead 47-44, and then an offensive rebound and put-back by Nicole Willardson made it 47-46 Grantsville with 32 seconds left in the game.
Richfield pressured the Cowboys and fouled Allen who knocked down two foul shots to preserve the lead and give Grantville a 49-46 home victory.
“That game was so fun with the back-and-forth lead changes,” said Grantsville coach Megan Vera. “We were outsized so we tried to double No. 25 (Willardson) and front her in the post. We also knew that 30 (Janes) was a shooter. So those two players were our top priority on defense. We wanted to push the ball in transition on offense, but if it was not there we wanted to back it out and make them work on defense and try to wear them down. Our girls batted and rebounded well against a strong rebounding team. They only had one more rebound than we did.”
Neither team could pull away in the first quarter, and Richfield led 8-7 after one.
Richfield led 11-7 early in the second quarter, when Grantsville freshman Avery Allred connected on a bucket inside, and followed that with a top-of-the key 3-point basket and Grantsville suddenly was in front 12-11. Grantsville’s rally continued with a layup from Allen, a bucket by Ellie Thomas with an assist from Emily Ware, and then another 3-pointer from the baseline by Allred. The shot grazed the glass and connected. Then, Maile Bartley blocked a shot with the ball pushed ahead to Allred who was fouled. Allred connected on 1-of-2 foul shots and Grantsville had its largest lead of the game at 20-11 with 2:56 until intermission.
But Cowboys ended up stuck on 20 the final 3 minutes of the first half, while Richfield scored 8 points in row to make it 20-19 at halftime.
Richfield took the lead 21-20 to start the third quarter, but Grantsville took control with baskets from Ware, Thomas, and Bartley to go up 26-21 lead midway through the third.
Richfield then rallied to take a 31-28 lead after a 3-pointer from Janes, but the Cowboys outscored the visitors 7-0 to close out the third quarter and regtake the lead at 36-31.
In the late third-quarter rally, Thomas drilled a 3-pointer from the corner, Allen hit three foul shots, and then she closed out the third quarter with a driving layup to make it 36-31.
Richfield cut into the lead in the final frame, and then went up 43-40 when Grantsville closed it out with a 9-3 run in the final two minutes.
Allen scored 20 points with 10 steals, four rebounds and five assists. Thomas scored 9 points with three steals and one 3-pointer.
Allred scored 9 points with two steals, three assists, seven rebounds, and two 3-pointers. Ware had 6 points with one steal, two assists, six rebounds. Baylee Lowder recorded 3 points and four rebounds. Bartley had 2 points,two rebounds, two steals and one block. Ryann Williams grabbed one rebound.
Grantsville’s record improves to 2-0 on the season with a home game scheduled for Tuesday night at 6 p.m.