TAYLORSVILLE — The Red Devils did it again.
Springville continued its magical run in the 4A state playoffs Friday with another come-from-behind victory over Timpanogos 44-43, topped off with yet another big shot.
Monday it was Olivia Park’s prowess behind the arc to help lift Springville past Highland in the first round. Wednesday it was Savannah Park’s mastery in two overtime periods to get by Bonneville in the quarterfinals.
Friday night, it was sophomore Lydia Austin’s turn.
With time expiring, and Springville down 42-40, Savannah Park drove the lane and kicked the ball out to Austin in the corner. Without hesitation, Austin went up with a shot that found the bottom of the net with just 6.7 seconds remaining to give her team a 43-42 lead.
Timpanogos had one last gasp, but Eternity Galeai’s last-second 3-pointer came up just short at the buzzer — giving Springville its latest improbable comeback win and a sixth visit to the 4A championship game in as many years.
“The girls have had the goal to get back (there) since the beginning of the year and it really speaks to their emotions and how well they respond in adversity,” said Springville coach Camie Oakey. “They know how to win, and it’s incredible … they‘re playing with confidence and having fun.”
The fun was apparent from the postgame locker room as chants of “Sophomores! Sophomores!” echoed down the halls of Bruin Arena.
Indeed, Austin wasn’t the only sophomore who stepped up big late.
Just like she did Monday, Olivia Park again provided a needed spark off the bench late when her team needed it most. With just 22.1 seconds remaining, Park drained a 3-pointer from the wing to close the deficit to just 41-40.
After Timpanogos’ Rachelle Warner hit one of two foul shots on the next possession, Springville was given prime opportunity to send the game into overtime or win it all together.
Austin chose the latter.
“I knew Savannah was going to go to the basket, so I just spotted up in the corner, like I always do and she kicked it (out), like she always does,” Austin said about her final shot. “And it just went in.”
Austin with the ball in her hands late was a welcome sight for Oakey from the bench, who has a lot of confidence in her young sophomore.
“Lydia is extremely confident and she’s been great all year,” Oakey said. “Lydia is a player who wants to be on the floor and wants to be a leader. She knows how to do it … she has all the confidence in the world. I had no qualms at all with Lydia taking the last shot, and I’m proud of her.”
Austin finished the game with a team-high 15 points on five 3-pointers — three of which came early to get Springville off to a 17-11 first-quarter lead. Timpanogos took back the lead early in the third and maintained until the game’s final 6.7 seconds.
Timpanogos was led by Jamaica Christensen and her game-high 17 points.
With the win, Springville advances to the 4A state championship where it will take on Skyline Saturday at Salt Lake Community College.