The Rich High School girls basketball team rolled through the second day of the state 1A basketball tournament with a 48-29 win over Milford Thursday at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield.
“It’s all about these kids,” said coach Cody Lundgren, who is in his eighth season coaching the Rebels. “They are resilient, they play together, they love each other and they play for each other.”
Rich started off by dominating the scoring, with Ambria Lutz netting back-to-back 3-pointers to open the game.
Lutz would go on to lead the offensive effort, dropping in three 3-pointers on her way to a game-high of 15 points for Rich.
In all, eight players for Rich put points on the board, while holding Milford to just eight buckets from the field.
The Rebels were up 18-11 at the half. However, a surge early in the third stanza with buckets from Whytney Stoddard, Brynley Wunderlich and JaLeana Tsosie pulled the Tigers to within three points of Rich.
That’s when coach Lundgren called a timeout to help reset his team.
“We talk all the time that in a basketball game you have your lows and your highs and we were having a low right then,” Lundgren said. He said the team pulled from advice given to them from a coach back home.
“He told them are you going to dig in and get it done, or are you going to lay down,” Lundgren said. “That’s just what I asked them, are you going to lay down right now or are you going to dig in and pull each other up? They dug in.”
Rich’s girls scored the next 11 points and dominated the boards through the second half.
“They moved the ball well and did all the right things,” Lundgren said. “The last couple of years, Milford has outrebounded us pretty hard. That was a focus point going into this season and this game in particular. I thought the girls did a very good job with it.”
Makynzee Smith, who hit a downtowner earlier in the game, scored 10 of her 13 points for Rich in the final stanza to keep the Rebels in a comfortable position as the clock ticked down.
Tsosie led Milford with 11 points.
The win gives Rich’s girls a crack at No. 2 seed and region rival Tabiona during Friday’s 5:30 p.m. semifinal game.
Tabiona survived a narrow 34-33 win over Escalante Thursday morning.
Rich and Tabiona split their two meetings earlier in the season, with the Rebels beating the Tigers 38-37 at home, but losing 40-37 at the Tigers’ home court.
“We’re happy to be here and thankful for our fan support,” Lindgren said.