What was supposed to be one of top-ranked Sky View's stiffest tests in the 4A tournament became another routine three-quarter battle ending with a Bobcat win. Sky View, now 22-1, once again proved that the fourth quarter is its own domain after knocking out Pleasant Grove 44-31 on Thursday night.

"We leave teams hanging around for too long," Sky View coach Alan Wamsley said after the win. "I keep giving our team the same halftime speech over and over and our girls keep promising to put it away early. It doesn't seem to happen."A win is still a win for the tourney-favorite Bobcats, who now have a date tonight with East in the late semifinal game slated for 7:50 p.m. in the Murray High fieldhouse.

"That's about as good of a quick, ball handling team you'll find," Wamsley added of the Vikings, who gave their all against Sky View's powerful size. "We played one of our best defensive games of the year to beat them."

Pleasant Grove refused any intimidation from the Bobcats inside power game in the opening quarter. Viking forward Tirzah Church paced her team early with eight of her 14 points that gave them a 10-8 first quarter lead.

Slowly the Bobcats found their defensive groove by cutting off the passing game of Pleasant Grove that worked so well in the game's opening minutes.

"Some of that was our lack of movement to the ball," said Pleasant Grove Coach Rachel Thompson of the passing breakdown. Also playing a factor was the emerging presence of Bobcat forward Mari Burningham with three of her eight blocked shots in that quarter. "It's never fun to see your shots swatted into the stands," Thompson added.

The Vikings responded with their own prevent style defense against Burningham, working it well through the first half. "Our focus was to shut down Jessica Sparrow and Burningham," Thompson said. "That ended up taking a lot of energy out of us in the second half."

That was confirmed by the scoring explosion Burningham had for the Bobcats. The 6-4 senior hit 11 of her 17 points after halftime to help the defending state champions retake a six-point lead after three quarters.

In the final period of play, Pleasant Grove could only manage to pull within five points of Sky View. Even after center Taffy Smart fouled out of the game, the Bobcats sustained a 10-2 scoring run in less than two minutes to sink the Vikings' title hopes.

"Everybody was a weapon for us," Burningham said. "After halftime (Pleasant Grove) started getting flustered. It was a change from the first quarter when they came out really confident."

The winner of tonight's East/Sky View matchup will meet Saturday afternoon against the victor from tonight's Olympus/Timpview semifinal game at 6:10 p.m. "We need to put together a complete game," Wamsley repeated of his team's goal. "If that happens we'll be very dangerous."

In other tournament results:

Winners bracket

East 38, Payson 35

The Lions failed to complete a fourth quarter turnaround despite 12 points from Julie Hansen. Charlotte Norman also had 12 points for the Leopards who find themselves in tonight's semifinal with Sky View. Tiffany Massey had nine more points for Payson; Aly Hill chipped in eight for East.

Consolation bracket

Bear River 49, Tooele 46

Nikkie Wood buried 16 points to lead the Bears followed by Emilie Pugsley with 11. Tooele's Amanda Kidd finished with 18 points to lead all scorers in the game. Bear River advances to meet Judge today at 2:50.

Judge 36, Ben Lomond 32

Down 19-13 halftime deficit, the Bulldogs fired back with a dramatic fourth quarter takeover as they hit a layup and two free throws in the final minute to seal the win. Stephanie Blum scored 14 to lead all players.