The Bountiful Redhawks are in the semifinals, thanks to senior leadership and a little thing called the charity stripe.

The No. 2 Redhawks withstood a few haymakers from a talented squad in No. 7 Highland and outlasted the Rams for a 65-59 win to make it to the semifinals for the second consecutive season. Bountiful capitalized on 13 free throws in the second half, making 11 of them in the fourth quarter to pull away in a game Highland unexpectedly led for much of the time.

“Honestly, Highland’s just good,” Bountiful coach Joel Burton. “We knew Highland was going to be an awfully tough team to take down. They’ve got five great girls that play lights out defense, so we knew it was going to be a good challenge.”

Sophomore Taylor Harvey led all scorers with 21 points for the Redhawks on 7-12 shooting, while senior Lizzy McConkie added 12 points. Junior Sosephina Langi led Highland with 19 points, while senior Lata Fahakafua scored 18 points, 12 of which were in the first half.

Highland took a swing early, going on a 6-0 run fueled by defense to take a 10-7 lead, but a 3-pointer by McConkie tied it immediately. Her triple turned into a 7-2 run for the Redhawks. Highland took back the lead with a layup in the final seconds only for senior Hayley Smith to take it back for Bountiful with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that rattled around the rim for a few seconds before falling.

Highland took control early in the second quarter with a 12-3 run, and it seemed that Bountiful just could not stay in front of quick drives by Cecilia Olevao, not to mention the Rams were beginning to hit their 3s. Looking for answers down, 28-21, the Redhawks got back into it with 3s from freshman Adelaide Stevenson and McConkie. Despite that, the Rams held onto their lead and stayed on top at halftime, 34-31.

Fahakafua led all scorers at halftime, scoring 12 points, while Jordan Harvey had nine points.

After a competitive basket-trading first half, the remainder of the game ultimately just came down to scoring versus scoring run. Coming out of the halftime break, the Redhawks caught fire and went on an 11-2 run, only to be answered back by a game-tying 6-0 run by Langi. Highland pushed the run to 10-0 into the final seconds of the third quarter. Langi scored 8 of the 10 during the run and collected two steals to boot.

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Though Jordan didn’t have a point in the second half, her leadership, along with the three other seniors who saw the court, made it possible for the Redhawks to take the lead over the Rams with a 9-2 run to begin the fourth quarter, and they never gave the lead up again.

“When you see some of the others going a little bit helter-skelter with the game,” Burton said, “it’s nice to have a group of senior that can calm them down.”

Having forced Highland well into the bonus by early in the fourth quarter, Bountiful’s 15-22 clip from the stripe proved the difference. They shot 11-14 in the final period. Bountiful also outscored the Rams, 17-6, on fast break points.