TAYLORSVILLE — Timpview legitimately expects to play four 5A state tournament games at Salt Lake community college this week, so a slow start to Monday morning’s opener against West wasn’t really that big a deal in the big picture
Coach Aimee Dorias knew there were outside circumstances — early start, delay getting to the venue because of snowy roads — but the most important thing was her players worked through the difficulties with a very business-like approach.
Timpview’s sluggish play only lasted about a quarter and a half, but it eventually pulled away for 60-44 victory to march into the quarterfinals on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
“They did enough of the fundamental principles that we preach every day in practice to where it was messy and a little sloppy but it was enough consistency in chunks to get the job done,” said Dorias.
Shalyn Fano led the way for Timpview 20 points and 18 rebounds, with Ella Pope adding 18 points. The duo has combined to average 30 points throughout the season, and they were again the catalyst for the T-Birds on Monday.
West hung tough for a quarter and a half, but the Region 7 co-champ T-Birds quickly started pulling away midway through the second quarter.
Timpview closed the first half on an 11-3 run to stretch the lead to 27-17, and never led by less than double digits again. It pushed the lead to 45-28 by the end of the third as it took advantage of West’s tiring defense with four straight lay-ups late in the quarter.
Pope scored eight of her 18 points in the third quarter.
“She just had an aggressive mindset. She wanted to get to the rim. She played pretty smart defensively and cause a lot of issues with her length that allowed her to get out and run in the open floor, and that’s a spot she’s pretty untouchable for the most part,” said Dorias.
Pope credited Timpview’s unselfish play as the key for shaking the slow start and really starting to open things up.
“For us it’s just sharing the ball. Sometimes I think individually we all work too hard. We can take it, it’s just prettier basketball when we play as a team,” said Pope.
A focused approach after halftime was key as well. Slow third quarters have been an occasional problem for the T-Birds this season, and it led to their only region loss to Corner Canyon back on Jan. 16. That’s the only loss in the past 13 games for Dorias’ team, but she believes it helped her team fully appreciate the importance of strong third quarters.
“We’ve really had discussions ad nauseam about how important a third-quarter momentum shift is. It’s going to happen for one team or another, and the importance of it being us is something we talk about a lot, and they’ve really bought in. That’s a stretch in the game even if they’re not energetic they have to fake it a bit,” said Dorias.
In the loss, West sophomore Whitney Banz led the way with a team-high 20 points.