Westlake beat Davis 45-32 on Tuesday at the Huntsman Center to advance to the 6A semifinals.
The Darts jolted out to a quick lead to open the game as Kylee Mabry made the first two baskets of the game, the second an and-one that put the pressure immediately on Westlake. A few minutes later Mabry stole the ball in the backcourt, rounded her way around the basket and knocked down a reverse layup to put Davis up 11-3.
The Thunder rallied back over the final two minutes of the first quarter with a 9-0 run. They led 12-11 after the first period with all 12 points coming from Jill Lungren and Chloe Jensen, who each knocked down a pair of 3-pointers.
“I got to give Chloe credit for stepping up. She played a terrific game. I thought I had to play man to man to start; they hit a couple shots right away so we went to our zone and got them to struggle a little more until we started making shots and executed,” Westlake coach Michael O’Connor said.
The second quarter was a repeat of the first. Mabry snuck a pass through three Thunder defenders to Morgan Burnett to give Davis a 15-12 lead halfway through the period. Westlake stayed under control and closed the quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 19-15 lead into the break despite the struggles.
Senior Siona Sauvao’s offensive composure kept things moving forward for the Thunder. They had made seven shots in the first half and four of them were off Sauvao’s passes for 3-pointers. Each time she was able to break the paint and return a pocket passer outside to a Westlake shooter.
“Most of the time I look for my shooters, our coach taught us to attack our defenders to get the defense to collapse on me.” Sauvao said. “And then kick it out because those girls hit shots at practice every day.”
Halftime adjustments and an increased defensive intensity expanded the lead. Westlake utilized defensive stops to get out in transition. While their opponent took the ball out of the bottom of the net, the Thunder got back on defense to get another stop.
“I got to give Chloe credit for stepping up, she played a terrific game.” — Westlake coach Michael O’Connor
“We asked our players to get some stops in a row and then score. We try to go three-and-three. We got three stops, three buckets and boom — 10-point lead,” O’Connor said.
When the offense did stagnate, Lungren and Jensen made off the dribble jump shots to extend the lead. By the end of the third quarter the lead had ballooned to 30-20 and the Darts had scored just nine points over their last two-and-a-half quarters.
“When we catch the ball, we are shot-ready so that if we have the space, we can make the shots and are prepared.” Jensen said.
Senior leadership has put Westlake into their first semifinal appearance since 2018. Sauvao along with Tessa Chaney, Kaylee Headrick and Paige Payne have all fulfilled their roles. Headrick finished just shy of a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds, while Chaney and Payne had key defensive moments.
After Westlake’s boys team upset Bingham in the morning, the Thunder teams will play back-to-back semifinal games at the University of Utah on Thursday. The girls will play No. 2-ranked Fremont at 4:40 and the boys will play No. 4-ranked Corner Canyon at 7:00.