The full- and half-court press have been a staple of the Timpview girls basketball team for years. It has helped the Thunderbirds win plenty of games during that time and did so again on Thursday.
The defensive pressure helped third-ranked Timpview break open a close game en route to a 63-52 victory over Woods Cross. The win kept the Thunderbirds (2-0) undefeated in the early season while handing the Wildcats (0-2) their second-straight loss to a ranked opponent.Guard Emily Freeze benefitted most from the press, scoring on a number of easy layups off steals and turnovers as she recorded a game-high 29 points. Freeze also showed off her outside shooting ability, draining four 3-pointers.
Woods Cross led twice in the game, the first coming at 2-0 on a lay-in by Celeste Harding. Freeze then hit her first 3-pointer that got Timpview going. The Thunderbirds led 15-10 at the end of the first quarter and built a 28-19 lead before the Wildcats made a comeback.
Tiffany Britton scored four points during a 13-2 run that gave Woods Cross a 32-30 lead. But Freeze hit another three with 10 seconds left in the half for a one-point lead at the break.
The Thunderbirds then used their full-court press and built a 42-32 lead in just one minute of play in the third quarter. During that time Timpview had three steals, caused a turnover and drew four fouls from the Wildcats.
"The start of the third quarter was key," said Timpview coach Barbara Dickson, who thought about pressing near the end of the second quarter but felt her kids were too tired.
Despite the bad start, Woods Cross cut the lead to 44-39 and had a chance to creep closer but missed layups on three consecutive possessions and never threatened again.
"We spent our whole practice (Wednesday) on breaking the press," said Woods Cross head coach Debbie Peel. "You wouldn't believe it, though."
Elsewhere in the state:
Bingham 53, Bonneville 34
At Bonneville, the top-ranked Miners blew past the Lakers with Malinda Lynch's 23 points. Jenifer Jensen paced Bonneville with 11.
Bountiful 43, Clearfield 34
At Bountiful, Candie Pitcher's 15 points for the Braves helped keep off a late second half comeback by the Falcons. Clearfield's Jill Adams topped all scorers with 18.
Orem 66, Viewmont 56
At Orem, Lindsey Tate netted 17 points along with Carrie Taylor's 13 as the Tigers handed Viewmont its second loss. Lynne Jones led the Vikings with 11.
Ogden 43, Judge 20
At Ogden, the fourth-ranked Tigers charged past Judge with 18 points from Jessica Carpenter. Amber Whitaker helped out with 10 more points for Ogden.
Northridge 65, Ben Lomond 36
At Ben Lomond, the Knights fired up on the Scots' court with Deedra Valentine scoring 17, along with 12 from Melanie Hewitt and Amber Bailey scoring 11.
Hillcrest 84, Roy 34
At Hillcrest, Amber Pherson tore up the Royals with 23 points, seven boards, 12 steals, six assists and one blocked shot. Defensively the Huskies piled up 39 steals.
Taylorsville 61, Cottonwood 56
At Cottonwood, fueled by four three-point shots, Lisa Pugmire ended with 22 to help the Warriors fight off Cottonwood. Heather Beasley also scored 22 for the Colts.
Payson 43, Lehi 33
At Payson, three Lion players finished in double-figures, led by 14 points from Julie Hansen. The win was the first game for Payson while Lehi goes to 0-2.
North Sanpete 59, Park City 28
At Park City, the third-ranked Hawks registered their third victory with 11 points each from Tawnya Crumb and Kathryn McAllister.
American Fork 79, Pleasant Grove 56
At American Fork, Jaycee Webster scored 29 points for the third-ranked Cavewomen in their first win. Tirzah Church finished with 15 for the Vikings.
Sky View 65, Snow Canyon 47
At Snow Canyon, Mari Burningham scored 19 points and Jessica Sparrow followed with 18 as the Bobcats shut down the Warriors in the second and third quarters.
Panguitch 47, Manti 40
At Panguitch, the Templars were shut out offensively in the third quarter as Amanda Talbot finished with 13 for Panguitch. Amber Lyons led Manti with 14 points.
Morgan 57, Bear River 54
At Morgan, Nikki Wood scored 22 points for Bear River and Michelle Walker ended with 17 for Morgan, as the Trojans broke a third quarter tie to upset the Bears.
Tooele 55, Springville 50
At Springville, the Buffaloes pulled off a win against the Red Devils to improve to 2-0. Springville is now 1-1 overall.
Cedar City 36, Delta 30
At Cedar City, Janelle Romney hit 12 points from the Redmen along with Sara Parson's 11 for that team's first win. Delta opens its season at 0-1.
Enterprise 67, Piute 39
At Enterprise, led by Jenny Holt's 20 points, the Wolves put away Piute to improve their record to 4-0. Jennifer Allen led the Thunderbirds with 11.
Dugway 43, Salt Lake Christian 36
At Dugway, the Mustangs came away with their fourth win in Region 14 as Heidi Bruce led all scorers with 13. Marianne Beckstrand added 12 more for Dugway.
Valley 34, Holbrook (Ariz.) 32
At the Page Tournament, the top-ranked Buffalo edged out a fourth-quarter win in the tourney opening round to improve to 4-0 this year.
Pine View 62, Salpointe (Ariz.) 56
At the Page Tournament, Tiffany Turek and Cori Benson both chipped in 14 points apiece to help take the lead in the final period. The win moves the Panthers to 2-1.
Hurricane 51, Saguaro (Ariz.) 37
At the Page Tournament, the Tigers ran away from Saguro with Natalie Hughes scoring 15 and Brooke McKell shooting 11 more in Hurricane's first season win.