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High school basketball: Juab girls continue improbable 3A playoff run

OREM — When Juab lost to Richfield by 31 points in the regular season finale, there wasn't really any evidence to suggest that the Wasps were capable of making a deep run in the 3A playoffs.

A lot has changed in the past two weeks.

Six days after upsetting No. 1 Morgan in the first round of the 3A girls state tournament, the Wasps did it again in the quarterfinals at Utah Valley University by rallying for an impressive 40-35 victory over Carbon.

"All season we felt we were one of the better teams, we just weren't able to play a full game," said Juab coach Brady Farr. "We play in a tough region, and in all honestly I think that's why we're at where we're at. "

Sure Juab took some major lumps along the way in the difficult Region 12 against teams like Emery and Richfield, but the players learned their lessons along the way.

"We did take our hits in the region, but we've matured and got to the point where as coaches we feel we can be one of the better teams in 3A," said Farr.

Kiz Farrer led the way for Juab with 23 points, while teammate Tessa Bradford chipped in with 13.

Juab's defense was just as instrumental in the victory forcing Carbon into 21 turnovers and holding the Dinos to just 26 percent shooting from the field.

The first quarter was sluggish for both teams, with Carbon connecting on just 3-of-16 shots from the field and Juab only making 1 of 8. They picked up the pace quite a bit in the second quarter with Carbon taking a 19-16 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Juab tweaked its offensive approach after halftime which made an immediate impact. Farrer scored the first nine points of the second half as the Wasps pulled in front 25-19. Her team never relinquished the lead after that, but Carbon closed to within 29-27 after the third quarter.

It was short-lived momentum for the Dinos, however, as they turned the ball over seven times in the fourth quarter. Juab capitalized, and now the No. 4 four seed from Region 12 is a surprising 3A semifinalist.