High school girls basketball: 4A quarterfinal recap — Sky View, Desert Hills, Ridgeline, Green Canyon secure spots in semifinals
Sky View 52, Mountain Crest 39
Sky View played the second half of Thursday’s 4A quarterfinal at Dixie State with a been-there-done-that mentality.
There was no panic from the defending state champs despite leading region foe Mountain Crest by only one at the half, a team it swept during the region season. Sky View’s players kept their composure knowing they still had an entire half of basketball to finish things off.
And that’s precisely what they did. Many of the shots Sky View missed in the first half it started to knock down in the second half as it marched to the 52-39 victory to advance to Friday’s semifinals.
“It’s nice to know what this is like. Our region is extremely tough, but these games are a whole different thing. It just is a different vibe. Obviously we haven’t played on a college court before, the gym is bigger, you have seats behind the basket. Things like that just make a big difference,” said Sky View coach Vanessa Hall.
Addey Merrill’s shots in particular started falling after halftime. She drained a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter and another in the fourth as Sky View started to pull away. Merrill finished with 12 points while teammate Hannah Radford scored a game-high 17 points.
Defense was a big catalyst for the Sky View in the second half as well.
“I think defensively we played tighter in that second half, didn’t give them as many open looks which created some offensive opportunities for us,” said Hall.
Desert Hills 56, Hurricane 38
A year later and Desert Hills gets another crack at Sky View in the semifinals.
No. 2 Desert Hills absorbed some sharp early shooting from No. 10 seed Hurricane but after a couple of defensive adjustments started to pull away for the 56-38 victory in the 4A quarterfinals at Dixie State.
“I thought they did a good job hitting shots tonight, they were hitting really good on their 3-point shots, told the girls not to get off them a little bit and just stay on top of them a bit more. Kind of took that away from them, and they kind of panicked a little bit,” said Desert Hills coach Ron Denos.
Sa’de Turlington led Desert Hills with 14 points, while Alivia Cluff and added 12 and Hannah Heaton chipped in with 11.
The win sets up a rematch with Sky View in the semifinals on Friday at 3:40 p.m.
“We are in the same situation we were last year against Sky View in the semis. It’s going to be a good game, I think our girls are excited about laying in it,” said Denos.
Desert Hills initially started to pull away late in the second quarter as it stretched its lead to 28-20 heading into halftime. It then scored the first six points of the third quarter to push the lead to 14.
To Hurricane’s credit, despite suddenly trailing by double digits to a team it lost to twice this season by an average of 23.5 ppg, it didn’t wilt.
The Tigers responded with a 13-2 run that trimmed the lead to 36-33 late in the quarter. Denos called a timeout make a couple of defensive adjustments to settle things down.
His players closed the quarter on an 8-0 run and then held Hurricane to just five points in the fourth.
Desert Hills leading scorer Julia Jacobsen was held to just seven points, a rare game in which she didn’t reach double figures.
“I just thought her game was a little bit off tonight for whatever reason, she just seemed like she didn’t know where she was on the court a little bit. She got too far underneath the basket too many times and then she started pressing a little bit because things weren’t going her way. Hopefully she just got the game out of her and she’ll be ready to go tomorrow,” said Denos.
Ridgeline 56, Dixie 25
Top seed Ridgeline dominated from start to finish in a resounding 56-25 win over underdog Dixie in the 4A quarterfinals at Dixie State.
Ridgeline led by 10 after the first quarter, 22 at the half and then 29 by the end of the third.
“I thought the girls did a really good job coming in defensively being ready to play, which I think led to some opportunities offensively. Our shots weren’t falling from outside, but the girls just dug in defensively, took care of business and I think that’s really where the edge was,” said Ridgeline coach Ainsli Jenks.
Ridgeline starts four sophomores and a freshman, but all season that group of youngsters has played like a veteran team and that was the case again on Thursday.
That lone freshman starter is Emilee Skinner, and she was simply outstanding as she scored 21 of her 23 points in the first half before taking a seat on the bench as the score got out of hand.
Jenks said it wasn’t one bit surprising her freshman played with such poise.
“I think Emilee is just the type of kid who it’s a basketball court and she’s just going to go play because that’s what Emilee does, just plays,” said Jenks.
Elise Livingston was the only other Ridgeline player to score in double figures as she scored 11 points.
The win helped Ridgeline improve to 22-1 on the season, including wins over Davis, Desert Hills and Preston, Idaho. Its only loss came against Sugar-Salem, Idaho back in early January. This past weekend Sugar-Salem won the 3A state title in Idaho.
Ridgeline is now just two more wins away from winning its own state title.
Green Canyon 59, Snow Canyon 38
Green Canyon played a nearly flawless second half of basketball during the 4A quarterfinals at Dixie State on Thursday.
Leading by four at the half, Green Canyon outscored Snow Canyon by 17 points in the second half — most of it during a five-minute stretch — as it rolled to the 59-38 victory to secure its spot in the 4A semifinals.
“I just feel like they were really patient offensive and defensively. The best thing is when they’re having fun they’re playing their best, and when they’re getting excited for each other they’re playing their best,” said Green Canyon coach Alexis Clegg. “And they all kind of dug in and did their jobs and their assignments and created opportunities. Different people got involved, shots fell. You’ve got to be good and a little lucky in the state tournament but they executed and I think that’s why the shots fell.”
Just about everyone got involved offensively as nine different players scored, led by Cambree Tensmeyer with 15 points on three 3-pointers.
The bulk of the damage started in the final three minutes of the third quarter and Green Canyon narrowly leading 32-27. It proceeded to rip off an impressive 13-2 run to close the quarter out with terrific offensive execution.
The lead kept swelling in the fourth quarter and got as high as 23 points before the starters for both teams came out with two minutes remaining.
Green Canyon will next face No. 1 seed Ridgeline in the semifinals.
“We know Ridgeline well and we’re excited to have a rematch with them. We’ve been wanting it big time. We know they’re tough, and we hope we play our best ball because we know we didn’t play our best both times we played them. We’re excited to see what we can do against them,” said Clegg.