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High school girls basketball: Big fourth quarter propels Judge to 3A first round win


HEBER CITY — Judge Memorial was in control throughout Friday’s 3A first round game against San Juan, but it wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Bulldogs could finally start looking to the next round.

The Bulldogs opened the fourth quarter on a 14-0 run thanks in large part to a pair of 3-pointers from Miyalla Tarver as they pulled away from a gritty San Juan squad for the convincing 56-39 victory at Wasatch High School.

“It’s lose and go home at this point. I think everybody is playing to win, I think everybody is going to continue playing no matter who it was,” said Judge Memorial coach Lori Jones.

Tarver led the way with 23 points and seven rebounds while Emily Garcia added 16 points and 10 rebounds. The two combined for seven of Judge’s nine 3-pointers.

With the victory, Judge advances to next Thursday’s quarterfinals at Dixie State and will face Juab.

Judge only trailed once, very early in Friday’s game, but San Juan always stayed within striking distance. It only trailed 30-22 at halftime and then 38-31 after the third quarter.

In the fourth, Tarver said, Judge’s defense finally started to take over.

“Coach always talks about being strong on defense to win games, and we got together and we deflected our defense onto our offensive game and that really helped us in the long run,” said Tarver.

Judge held San Juan to just 29 percent shooting, and only 21 percent in the second half.

Tarver opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 41-31, and then a minute later after a Judge steal Tarver uncorked another 3 for the 46-31 lead.

“She was a little bit handcuffed with some foul trouble, didn’t get as easy looks, people box and one her, they’re going to stay close to here, they’ve done it all season,” said Jones. “She still comes away with double digits and she still comes away being smart and being great. She works hard to work those shots.”

Garcia connected on her final 3-pointer with 3:30 remaining in the game to give Judge a 52-31 lead, its largest of the game.

Delaney Palmer led San Juan in the loss with 14 points, but Jones credits Judge’s defense for making things very difficult on the Broncos all game.

“I felt like when we paid attention to our scout and we did what we were supposed to do, things worked the way they were supposed to. I felt like we neutralized they’re better plays and knowing what they wanted to do, knowing what they were capable of doing and keeping them from doing that as best as possible,” said Jones.