Springville’s defense dominated their way to another playoff victory. The Red Devils only allowed six points combined in the second and third quarter as they booked a ticket to their third straight state championship game with a 41-21 win over Bountiful.
Both offenses struggled throughout the first quarter. Springville’s guards did a good job of keeping everyone involved and creating good looks, but neither side could gain any momentum.
“Defense breaks down, if you keep going through your offense, they are going to get tired. We also trust our shots; we know they are going to fall eventually. Just be confident and if you miss a shot let it roll off your shoulders and move on to the next play.” said Kayla Porray.
By the middle of the second quarter Springville found the bottom of the net. A ball-movement possession ended with a nice kick out from Brooke Pennington right into Porray’s shooting pocket. She squared away and made a 3-pointer from the left corner. She quickly followed up by baseline drive for an easy layup. Pennington then had a baseline drive of her own, driving in from the right corner for a reverse layup. The 7-0 run gave separation and control of the game to the underdog.
“We are not a selfish team. Those unselfish plays where we make the extra pass are huge for our team. Because of our personnel, we have to bring pressure; we are undersized so we can’t rely on sitting back. We create pressure to create space for ourselves as well.” said Springville coach Holli Averett.
The Red Devils utilized all 4,700 square feet to their advantage. Offensively they made plays out of the corners and defensively they put on a full court press throughout the game, forcing Bountiful to make extra decisions on offense. The tight pressure helped force 11 Bountiful turnovers that turned into 12 points on offense.
Bountiful tried to rally, but the Springville players never took their foot off the gas. With the Redhawks down 12 with 60 seconds left in the third quarter, they had the ball under their own basket. Springville’s 94-foot pressure forced a five second violation. Springville chewed the clock and ended the period with a buzzer-beating putback layup from Madison Galbraith.
Galbraith commented on the play, “I knew if our players missed that I needed to be in position to get that rebound and put back so that they didn’t have momentum heading into the next quarter.”
Galbraith finished the game with seven points and four rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench, providing a spark and needed rest for the starters.
“She has been huge for us all season as our sixth man. She is one of our good defenders who we can tell to go in and defend their best player and she does her job. She gets a lot of offensive rebounds and can attack. There is no let down when she comes in and we can keep that intensity the whole game,” said Averett.
A high level of effort and smart fundamental basketball helped Springville overcome the obstacles they faced. Ball security, crisp passes and methodical decision-making allowed the Red Devils to never lose control of the game.