SPRINGVILLE — Ice water runs through Cori Nielson's veins. With no time left on the clock and her team down one, the Springville junior calmly stepped to the free throw line and swished two free throws for the 34-33 victory over rival Spanish Fork.

"That's pressure," a breathless Springville coach Jason Beardall said after Wednesday's game. "I think it's even harder to go to the line with nobody standing up there, and she nailed them both."

The Red Devils found themselves in a difficult situation after holding a comfortable lead through most of the game. Ironically, missed free throws played a big part in the Spanish Fork comeback from an eight-point deficit at the end of the third quarter as the Red Devils had missed 12 of their first 20 from the stripe. Nielson herself hadn't been stellar from the line as she was 7 for 12 heading into her heroic moment.

After the Dons tied the game at 30 apiece with just over two minutes to go, Springville pieced together two free throws in five tries to take a 32-30 lead with under a minute to go. Spanish Fork hit one free throw to make it a one-point game, and then the real excitement started.

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Spanish Fork sophomore Jenna Johnson stole an inbound pass from the Red Devils and rushed down to her basket to easily score, making it a 33-32 Spanish Fork lead. The Red Devils couldn't score on their ensuing possession and had a hard time grabbing a Dons' player for a foul, eventually sending Johnson to the line with 0.9 seconds remaining.

After missing the first free throw, Johnson missed the second and then fouled Nielson on the rebound opportunity while trying to tip the ball away from the tough Springville player.

That foul happened with no time left on the clock, giving Nielson plenty to think about as she stepped up to the line. But unlike the team's luck from the free throw line the rest of the game, she easily sank both attempts with neither even swiping the rim, and the Red Devils celebrated their second win of the year.

"Cori's a special player. She really is the heart and soul of our team," said Beardall, who also felt for the Spanish Fork players, noting how difficult it is to lose a game that way.

When the Dons went to the line with less than a second to go, even Beardall had lost hope.

"I didn't think we could win it at that point. We got a timeout and I drew something up. I was actually hoping she'd make it," he said about Johnson's second free throw. But when she didn't and he saw the foul called, he knew he could count on his leading player.

Nielson finished the game with 17 points, though only four came in the fourth quarter. After an ice cold start, which saw the Dons make their first field goal with only three and a half to go in the second, they heated up a bit, but things were still ugly on both sides.

Johnson led the Dons with 10 points, including the key three pointer in the fourth quarter that brought Spanish Fork even for the first time all night.