Wednesday's quarterfinal action of the 4A girls' high school state basketball tournament at Murray High turned out to be the Kim Hill show. The Woods Cross Wildcats are probably wishing they could get a refund on their admission tickets.
Clearfield bulldozed Woods Cross 66-43 due to the performance of Hill, the guard sensation from up north. Hill poured in 33 points - most of them on the run - to break a 10-year-old school scoring record and send the Falcons into the semifinals where they will meet Viewmont. The Vikings were winners over Weber in another quarterfinal game.
"You just watched the best player in the state," Clearfield Coach Margo Jones said, indicating the senior who was chosen last season's MVP. "She's a great kid and a great player."
Hill may have some competition for the right to be pegged as "the best player in the state,' but there was no question it was her night, or that it could be her tournament. Clearfield is favored to repeat as state champion - a win would give it an unprecedented third consecutive title. The contest against Woods Cross was clear evidence of why a repeat is predicted.
The Falcons jumped out to an early lead and just kept running. The Wildcats left the first half trailing 34-20, but the third period spelled doom to any comeback. Clearfield outscored Woods Cross 17-3 in those eight minutes. Hill had 10 of those 17 points; the Wildcats' only bucket came on a three-pointer by junior Dawn Britton.
"We really weren't happy with our defense in the first half, we needed to cut off the baseline. We came out with the trap and forced four quick turnovers. That got us going," Jones said.
If there was one bright spot for Woods Cross, it was the play of Britton. The gutsy, 5-foot-6 junior had the type of game others dream of - hitting seven three-pointers and going four for four from the foul line for 25 points. On top of that, she turned in a fine defensive effort, being handed the task of guarding Hill. Wildcat Carolyn Knight was the only other player to score in double figures, chipping in 10 points.
Viewmont 58, Weber 41: The Vikings' easy victory over Weber earned Coach Vi Hillman her first trip to the final four of a state basketball tournament. The duo of Jennifer Jeppesen and Jenny Siddoway led Viewmont past the Warriors, a surprise team that upset Mountain View in the first round. Jeppesen led all scorers with 14 while Siddoway chipped in 11. Shannon Bailey scored 14 for Weber, her teammate Rindi Hill added 11.
"Our main objective was to take care of (Rindi) Hill. We ran a chaser on her," explained Hillman. "They really couldn't press us, and that's their game. No one can press us because of our great ballhandlers. I told them that if we took care of the ball we would win."
Consolation games: Mountain View bounced back from its disappointing and surprising first-round loss to easily defeat Cyprus 60-43. The Bruins were led by Steph Henry with 21 points. Jennifer Jones had 14 points for the Pirates.
American Fork, bolstered with 30 points from Julie Trane, moved past Skyline 71-61 to stay alive in tournament play. Holly Wyatt scored 15 points in her final high school game for the Eagles.
Quarterfinal action continues Thursday when Taylorsville meets Roy and Bountiful goes against Hillcrest.