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T-Birds outlast Titans to make 4A finals

Two overtimes, 17 lead changes, 11 ties, clutch shots, pressure free throws and the top-two ranked teams in the state. It was all you could ask for in a state championship game, only this battle was just a semifinal.

Led by Camille Freeze's 21 points, second-ranked Timpview advanced to Saturday's 4A state championship game by outlasting top-ranked Olympus 65-61 Thursday at Salt Lake Community College. The Thunderbirds will face Lone Peak for the 4A title, a team they defeated twice in region play."It seems like a couple of times we had the game in the bag," said Timpview head coach Barbara Dickson, whose team had the lead in the final seconds of regulation and the first overtime before finally putting it away. "But then we would do something dumb or (Olympus' Kristi) Fehr would hit the clutch shot."

It seemed only fitting that Freeze's two free throws with 3.4 seconds left in the second overtime put the game on ice for Timpview. Five previous times in the waning moments of regulation and the first overtime, the senior stepped to the line and failed to hit both charity tosses.

While nerves may have played a role in her misses, Freeze was anxious to get to the line each time she was fouled.

"It was kinda like a nightmare," she said. "But each time up there I wanted to redeem myself."

Neither team led by more than five points in the game, and a back-and-forth fourth quarter saw the Thunderbirds take a 48-46 lead with 36 seconds left on a 3-pointer by Christy Boren.

Olympus answered back with a jumper by Kristi Fehr, who topped the Titans with 21 points.

Freeze was fouled on a drive with 7.2 seconds to play and hit both free throws, but Olympus looked like it might get the win when Fehr was fouled on a desperation 3-point attempt with 0.6 seconds on the clock.

Fehr calmly hit the first two, but her third one missed badly, sending the game into OT No. 1.

With the score tied at 54-54, Freeze made one of two free throws with 14.9 seconds then did the same with 12.1 seconds after an Olympus turnover.

The Titans looked to Fehr again and the senior delivered, drilling a 10-foot jumper with 4.2 seconds to send the game into OT No. 2.

With Timpview up 62-61, Freeze again hit one free throw with 31.9 seconds left for a two-point edge. This time though, Olympus couldn't look to Fehr to bail them out as she had fouled out a minute earlier.

Instead, Tammy Parry took a 3-pointer for the lead but it was partially blocked by Angie Nash, setting up Freeze's game clinchers.

"There wasn't one big thing that cost us the game. We just missed on a couple of easy little things," said Olympus head coach Devon Hartley. "It's been a great season for these girls."

Despite the big victory, Dickson doesn't think her players will overlook Saturday's game.

"Since they have a day off, they'll have a chance to get focused," Dickson said. "(Lone Peak) knows us and we know them. It's going to be very tough."