With only one senior returning from the two-time defending Region 18 girls basketball championship team, Dugway wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the Lady Mustangs during the 2004-05 campaign.
And early in the season it was evident the team was making some young mistakes that cost the squad a chance to register some quality wins.
However, the young Dugway team finally came on at the beginning of the region season and ruled the roost once again in the region ranks to tie West Desert for another coveted region title.
The Lady Mustangs inexperience in big games showed up in the Class 1A State Girls Basketball tournament with consecutive losses.
Dugway 47 – Merid. 43
The Lady Mustangs held off a late Mongoose surge down the stretch to post a pivotal victory and gain a share of the Region 18 girls basketball crown last Feb. 10 at Provo.
Dugway raced to a quick 13-8 cushion after one period expired, thanks to four points by Palmer and a three-point bomb by Beltzer.
Pianar, Shultz and C.J. Mathews all chipped in with two points each to help vault the Lady Mustangs to the early edge in the road affair.
Robertson kept the Mongoose close with six points in the first frame and teammate McKinlee Covey added a field goal as well.
Meridian regrouped during the break between periods and registered a 13-10 outburst to slice into the deficit and pull to within 23- 21 by half-time. Covey triggered the comeback bid with seven points and Robertson fired in four. Amanda Fujiki also added a basket as well to aid the rally.
Pianar helped Dugway stem the Meridian outburst with five points in the stanza, including a 3-point bomb, while Shultz and Palmer netted a field goal each. Mathews also canned a charity toss.
The Lady Mustangs bounced back after the intermission break to outscore the Mongoose 14-9 in the third quarter and take a 37-30 edge into the final frame of the game. Pianar reeled off nine points in the key session, including a pair of 3-point missiles, and Beltzer also buried a 3-point bomb to ignite the pivotal outburst.
Shultz also chipped in with a field goal and Dugway grabbed a little breathing room down the stretch.
The Mongoose did make a charge down the stretch to make things extremely interesting for both squads. Robertson and Kelly Henley pumped in four points each and Timise Brough drilled a 3-point shot to ignite Meridian’s 13-10 explosion in the fourth quarter to keep the hosts in the game. Covey also added a basket as well.
But Dugway thwarted the Meridian scoring surge with six points from Pianar, including a perfect four-for-four at the charity stripe in the final frame.
Pianar poured in a game high 22 points and Palmer provided eight. Shultz and Beltzer also chipped in with six points each.
Elise Robertson led the Lady Mongoose with 16.