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High school girls' basketball: Valley rides momentum past Tabiona and into 1A semifinals

RICHFIELD — Following a huge first-round upset over top-seeded St. Joseph, fourth-seeded Valley picked up some momentum and kept it rolling for its quarterfinal matchup against Tabiona Thursday afternoon.

The Buffaloes came out with intensity and urgency as they capitalized on their suffocating zone defense, which surrendered just two points in the opening quarter and seven in the first half, en route to a dominating 45-19 victory to advance to the semifinals of the 1A state tournament at the Sevier Valley Center.

“I think St. Joseph overlooked us a bit, and we were a little bit worried because we didn’t want to overlook them (Tabiona),” assistant coach Lance Peterson said. “We just told them to do what they’ve done all season and to play within themselves, don’t force anything and play solid defense.”

The star-studded play of Valley junior Heather Roundy really got Valley into an offensive rhythm as she came out firing to get the offense rolling.

The star forward netted her team’s first seven points of the game and 10 of their first 16 to take an early advantage while the Heaton sisters combined for 11 points in the second quarter alone to help Valley open up a commanding 20-7 lead heading into the third quarter.

The Buffaloes kept their foot on the gas in the second half as the Roundy and Heaton sisters continued to shoot the lights out to command their team. Heather Roundy scored the first four points of the third quarter to lead Valley to a 22-point edge with just eight minutes remaining, and the pair of sisters accounted for 40 of Valley’s 45 total points in the huge win.

“They do score a lot and we love that, but it’s Brooke (Heaton) and Julie (Steed) who do all the other things,” Peterson said. “They get the rebounds and play the defense, and that’s huge and we love that, but I’d love for all five of them to score 10 points a game. We’ve got a great group.”

Meanwhile, the Tigers finally started to get into a rhythm offensively in the second half, but just couldn’t seem to contain Valley’s offense or Roundy as she torched the home team for a game-high 18 points in the win.

With the victory, Valley keeps its state championship hopes alive and advances to the 1A semifinals, where it will take on 1A juggernaut and winners of 52 straight games in Panguitch and look to pull off yet another upset Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

“We really hope Rich wins,” Peterson said after the game. “We’ve played Panguitch three times this season, and they’ve beat us by 40 points every time. We are just going to come out and do the best we can. They’re extremely good, but they are beatable.”

Ryan Love is a full-time student at the University of Utah studying communications and has been a part-time sportswriter and scoreboarder for the Deseret News since October 2012.

Follow him on Twitter @RLove7724