In a very physical battle in the first round of the region 5A girls basketball tournament, Woods Cross did just enough to hold off a tough Taylorsville side and grab the win by a slim 44-40 margin.

Woods Cross quickly found themselves with a sizeable advantage, racing out to a 9-2 lead in the first quarter.

As the game went on, it became clear that this was going to be a physical, tight matchup, something that did not come as much of a surprise to Woods Cross head coach David Simon.

“It was just a knock down, grind it out type of game. We did enough and were able to make our free throws down the stretch. We knew it would be a physical game coming in from just watching them. I knew that a lot of what they do is that they rebound super well and they’re super physical.”

After a rough first quarter, Taylorsville continued to increase the physicality and the offense came alive. The home side ended up outscoring Woods Cross in the second quarter 16-8, cutting into the deficit. Woods Cross suddenly found themselves with a much smaller lead, taking a 22-19 lead into the break.

“At halftime we issued a challenge to the girls and told them we were giving up too many offensive rebounds that’s hurting us. We had a few lapses overall but I’m very proud of the effort the girls gave in the second half,” added Simon.

Taylorsville finally grabbed their first lead of the game early in the fourth quarter at 35-33. With both teams displaying excellent defense to finish out the game, there was not much room for error for either side. With 5 minutes left in a tied ball game, Taylorsville’s Jenna Sterzer hit a jump shot to give her team a 2-point advantage. That lead was very short lived because on Woods Cross’ next possession they would hit a quick three to grab the lead back. A couple of late free throws from Grace MacArthur sealed the victory for Woods Cross.

“I’d like to see our execution on our offense be a little better. We got a little in a hurry and didn’t move the ball super well. We got the players to do it, and we just need more of that. It just about cost us,” said Simon.

Ili Crockett and MacArthur led the way for Woods cross with 13 and 10 points respectively. In the losing effort, Sterzer led the way for Taylorsville by putting together a very impressive 17 points on the night.