All season long, Taylorsville girls' basketball coach Jo Barbieri has told her young but talented squad that on any given night, any team can win. Monday night in the opening round of the girls 4A state basketball tournament at Salt Lake Community College, her Warriors proved it.
Behind the 17-point effort of all-state candidate Angie Walker and the determined play of Amy Vargecko and Jody Sainsbury, the Warriors upset Region 2 champion Cottonwood 49-48. For Taylorsville, the fourth place finisher in tough Region 3, the victory was pleasant, but not completely a surprise.True to their form of the season, the Warriors played in streaks against the Colts, taking a lead, then going into a dry stretch before resurging. And for a while in the final period, it looked as if neither team would win.
Taylorsville fell behind 4-0 when Cottonwood's Stephanie Sorenson hit both her opening shots, but then ran off seven straight points to take the lead. With the Warriors up 13-10, the Colts scored six straight to make it 16-13, and Cottonwood led 16-15 after one period. Taylorsville got hot again, scoring six of the next eight points, five of them by Walker, to lead 22-18 with 6:25 left in the half. But then Taylorsville went cold, going almost six minutes before scoring again. In the meantime, Keri Bennett scored three field goals, Sorenson tallied twice and Sherri Chamberlain scored to give the Colts a 30-22 advantage. Two free throws by Sainsbury cut the lead to 30-24 at half.
Both team played an even third period, and Cottonwood led 45-41 entering the final quarter, but perhaps the biggest play of the game came with 2:30 left in the quarter. Sorenson was whistled for her fourth personal and then slapped with a technical that this year counts as a personal as well in high school. She seemed more angry at herself than at an official, but nonetheless, the Colts missed her presence inside.
The final period was a defensive struggle full of missed opportunities and turnovers both ways. Taylorsville, normally a fine three-point basket-shooting team, was missing everything from outside, but Cottonwood was as well. Only Walker's field goal and free throw with 1:36 to go had been recorded for either team in the final period. When Chamberlain calmly made three free throws to stretch the Colts' lead to 48-44 with 1:20 to go, it looked like Cottonwood had dodged a bullet.
But Vargecko responded with a great driving layup with 1:02 left to make it 48-46, and then Sainsbury canned a three-pointer with 19 ticks to make it 49-48. Cottonwood was fouled with four seconds left, but Walker rebounded the final missed free throw to ice the upset.
Barbieri's team showed just how tough Region 3 has been this year. Walker scored 17, Vargecko and Sainsbury both added 14 and Jill Ames scored four points, the only four players to score for the Warriors. Chamberlain led Cottonwood with 13 and Wendy Lloyd added 12.
Timpview 82 Weber 66
The T-Birds finally broke open a close game in the third period to advance with a 16-point win over Region 1 third-place finisher Weber. It was a career night for senior Camille Baumgartner, who is playing basketball for the first time. She was everywhere, rebounding, blocking shots and scoring 21 points for the T-Birds, while teammate Angie Ross was netting 23. Stacy Waters scored 16 and Kara Campbell 15 to lead the Warriors, who were outscored 26-13 in the pivotal third quarter by Timpview.
American Fork 61 Davis 45
The Darts, making their first appearance at state in several years, played American Fork evenly for three quarters, even leading 38-36 with just a minute left in the third period before American Fork scored eight unanswered points. In the final period, the Cavemen turned to super sophomore Julie Krommenhoek, who led all scorers with 23 points, and to Ali Lamb, who made four of five free throws to help sew up the victory. Lamb finished with 11 points, while Jodi Wimmer scored 23 and Rebecca Heusser 11 for the Darts.
Hillcrest 65 Skyline 36
The Region 3 champs certainly lived up to their billing in making short work of the Eagles in the day's opening game. Hillcrest broke from an 11-8 advantage to a 35-14 halftime lead. Cindy Jensen poured in 24 points and Kris Jensen added 17 for the Huskies, while Annette Stone led Skyline with 10 points.