Had Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan been in the stands for Friday's meeting between West Jordan and fourth-ranked Skyline, he would have had a smile on his face the entire game.
Why?Because the game pitted two of the best defensive teams in the 5A ranks and both displayed their suffocating abilities well. Down the stretch though, the Jaguars were able to make just enough shots to pull out a 35-30 victory.
Caryn Ketcham led the scoring charge for West Jordan with 16 points while dishing out five assists and picking up three steals.
The game didn't start out as a defensive battle as the Jaguars took a 14-9 lead after dropping two quick buckets to open the second quarter. Skyline (4-2) then went to a stifling man-to-man defense that didn't allow West Jordan another point the rest of the way. The Eagles missed their chances to take a lead though, as the two headed to the locker room tied at 14-14.
"We both had a lot of nice shots but just couldn't get them to drop," Jaguar head coach George Hughes said.
Skyline built its biggest lead of the game at 20-17 midway through the third quarter but watched Ketcham score six points during a 12-1 Jaguar run over the next eight minutes.
The Eagles cut the lead to 33-29 with two minutes left but failed to convert on their open jumpers in the clutch.
"Our defense won this game for us," Hughes added. "We're still trying to find ourselves . . . but it was a good experience for our kids."
Becky Hogan chipped in nine points for West Jordan while Heidi Kinnersley topped Skyline with 11.
Elsewhere in the state:
Kanab 55, Grand 31
At Grand, Carrie Crosby fired up the Cowgirls with 12 points and 14 rebounds for their third win this season. Mary Dalton shot in 10 points with two three-point shots for Kanab.
Beaver 58, San Juan 35
At Beaver, Beaver's Kristen Marchant blazed the court with 20 points to lead all scorers. Sunny Myers added 13 and Mackenzie Gillins shot 12 for top-ranked Beaver. Amber Halls led San Juan with 14 points.
Monticello 56, Parowan 48
At Parowan, Jill Yardley led Parowan with 18 points but the Rams ran into foul trouble before losing their lead. Tara Forrest led Monticello with 16, followed by Courtney Young and Lucy Tracy with 13 each.
S.L. Christian 48, West Desert 31
At West Desert, Jamie Adams racked up 16 points against the Hawks in the Dragonslayer's win. Juanita Doll added 10 points for SLCA and Eliza Murphy led West Desert with 16.
Monument Valley 61, East Carbon 35
At East Carbon, the Cougars burned up the host Vikings in a Region 16 contest. East Carbon dropped to 2-6 in region play.
Whitehorse 43, Green River 42
At Whitehorse, Kristina Long fired a last second three-point shot to win the game for the Raiders. The dramatic win for Whitehorse (4-3) came after it rebounded from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Pine View 56, Emery 49
At Pine View, Tiffani Turek stepped up with a strong rebounding effort for Pine View along with her team-high 18 points. Cori Benson also scored 11 for the 5-4 Panthers.
Duchesne 44, Park City 27
At Park City, Ave Neria's eight points led an even spread of scoring for fourth-ranked Duchesne. Sharlynn Bench added seven points for the 6-1 Eagles.
Clearfield 48, Alta 30
At Clearfield, Jill Adams netted 19 points for the Eagles as they broke away on an 18-3 run in the third quarter. Susie Hansen added 10 points for Clearfield, now 3-5.
Taylorsville 44, Murray 28
At Murray, Laurie Pugmire scored 11 points along with 10 from Brit Staveley to move the Warriors up to 6-1. Heidi Baird and Julie Peterson both led Murray with 11 points apiece.
Rich 56, Mountain View, Wyo. 48
At Mountain View, the Rebels continued a five-game win streak as Margo Groll scored 17 to lead all players. Liz Weston hit 11 more points for second-ranked Rich.
Snow Canyon 54, Lincoln Co. 29
At Lincoln, Nev., Mary Jo Colf scored 16 points for the Warriors in a win over their Silver State hosts. Snow Canyon outscored Lincoln 26-7 in the second half.
Box Elder 48, Hunter 37
At Hunter, Box Elder grabbed its third preseason win as Melissa Breagger hit 14 points to lead the Bees. Hunter's Angie Sheppick led all scorers with 18 points and snagged 13 rebounds.
Uintah 45, Olympus 41
At Olympus, the Utes pulled off a road victory with strong defense in the third quarter. Melissa Busch led Uintah's win with 19 points along with 14 from Dea Madsen. Ashley Miller was Oly's top scorer with 14 points.
Delta 53, Dixie 49
At Delta, the Rabbits fought off a second half comeback by Dixie behind Kristee Greathouse's 15 points. Angie Fowls scored 13 for Delta, as did both Betsy Fowler and Rachel Konold for Dixie.
Millard 53, Piute 29
At Millard, Cynthia Olson netted 15 points and 12 rebounds and Stacey Gardner assisted with 13 points, 10 boards for a 24-point Eagle victory. Millard broke Piute down with a 24-7 run in the final quarter.
Wasatch 70, Granite 16
At Wasatch, Granite struggled to score against third-ranked Wasatch as Christy Shepherd scored 25 points. Karrie Summerhays added to the Wasp offense with 10 points, six of them from three-point shots.
SUU/Holiday Inn Classic
Enterprise 54, Union 45
At Enterprise, Jamie Phelps led the third-ranked Wolves with 16 points as did Terri Nelson of Union. Jenny Holt and Jenny Huntsman helped the Enterprise win with 10 points each.
Payson 52, North Sanpete 51
At the SUU Tourney, Julie Hansen shot down the second-ranked Hawks of 3A with 27 points as Payson recovered from deficits three times. Taunya Crumb led North Sanpete with 25 points, including two three-point shots.
Hurricane 49, Highland 40
At the SUU Tourney, top-ranked Hurricane improved to 4-2 with their first win over a 5A team. Natalie Hughes led all players with 17 points scoring. Highland's Misty Shelton connected for 11 points, including three treys.
Cedar City 54, Wayne 51
At the SUU Tourney, the Redmen broke away from a 24-24 tie at halftime as Janelle Romney led an offensive charge with 22 points. The win moves Cedar City up to 4-3 in preseason play.