Bountiful caused the midnight bell to toll on Skyline’s Cinderella run as the Redhawks earned their spot in the 5A state championship game.

No. 2 Bountiful struggled early against the No. 22 Eagles but eventually took control early in the fourth quarter and escaped with a 41-34 victory in the semifinals.

It was the second time in as many games in this tournament that the Redhawks had difficulty in putting away the underdog late in the game after they narrowly escaped No. 7 Highland on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.

Despite it being close throughout, the Redhawks never trailed and led for over 30 out of 32 minutes. Bountiful coach Joel Burton kept reminding his players in the second half that, regardless of the scoreboard, they were the ones in control.

“I still feel like we were seeing the Highland effect on our kids,” Burton said. “A couple of them looked tired, so to go out and battle through that and get the win tonight, I thought it was huge.”

Sophomore Taylor Harvey led all scorers with 13 points for the Redhawks, while her older sister Jordan Harvey added 10 points and nearly double-doubled with nine rebounds.

Objectively, it was a very cleanly played ballgame for both sides as the teams combined for just seven fouls in the first half, and neither team went into the bonus through the contest until Skyline began fouling in the waning moments when Bountiful had the game in hand.

“All season, I feel like we just find a way to get it done,” Burton said. “Throughout the season, you have good games and bad games and you just figure it out, and all but once, we’ve been able to figure it out. Give those kids credit. They like to win and know to win.”

In getting to the championship game, Burton noted that many of the players on his varsity roster have come from other sports like soccer or volleyball, and they’ve been chomping at the bit for a state title in any sport after the soccer team lost the 5A title game and the volleyball team got upset in the semifinals.

“The combination of those (players) has been driving us forward,” Burton said.

Early in the game, it appeared Bountiful was well-prepared to run away with it as the Redhawks made their first few baskets and started the game on an 8-2 run capped by an and-one finish from Jordan Harvey.

It wasn’t long, though, before the Eagles began to exploit a size advantage underneath the basket as senior Tina Njike and junior Udochi Okoro teamed up on Taylor Harvey to overwhelm the paint on the offensive end. The two forwards combined for 14 of Skyline’s 22 points in the first half.

Skyline shot 41.2% from the field in the first half despite going 1-6 from the 3-point line. Bountiful outrebounded Skyline, 18-15, in the first half including a 7-3 advantage on offensive boards, but it didn’t help much in the way of points as the Redhawks only scored a single second-chance basket and shot 33.3% from the field.

Bountiful looked like it might pull away early in the third quarter with a 5-0 run. Skyline drove back with a 5-0 run in response in a low-scoring stretch as the Redhawks just barely outscored the Eagles, 7-5, going into the fourth quarter.

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In Bountiful’s first offensive play in the fourth, the shot clock nearly ran out on the Redhawks with Taylor Harvey holding the ball far behind the top of the key. Her dad, assistant coach Tony Harvey, hollered at her to shoot, and she fired it off and shockingly made it to spur a 6-0 run (8-0 going back to the third quarter) capped by an and-one finish by Jordan Harvey. That run ultimately kept the Redhawks in control for good.

“I didn’t even see the shot clock,” Taylor Harvey said. “I looked over at the bench and they were like, ‘3, 2…’ and so I shot it. I didn’t even know it was that deep until they told me later.”

Okoro led the Eagles with 11 points on 5-9 shooting.

Skyline was “playing on borrowed time,” coach Sam White said, as the No. 22 team in the tournament after the Eagles finished the regular season with an 8-12 record.

“We had a rough start to the season,” White said, “but I never doubted these girls, and they never doubted each other, and they never doubted themselves.”