No. 2 Kanab 64, No. 3 Draper APA 50

The last four years of 2A girls basketball has been headlined by Kanab, and this year is no different as the Cowboys punched their ticket to the 2A championship for the fourth year in a row.

No. 2 Kanab led the entire way in its 64-50 semifinal win over No. 3 Draper APA Friday. Kanab started dominantly with a 16-0 run in the first quarter, and while Draper APA found some momentum after, it never recovered from the opening drought.

“We finally played defense the way we’ve been trying to all year,” said Kanab head coach Klint Glover. “We’ve been OK at it, but we did a better job at what we needed to do.

“I’m proud of our girls. APA is a good offensive team. They executed the defensive plan pretty well.”

The Cowboys’ lead stayed strong thanks to a strong shooting night. Kanab shot 38% from beyond the arc.

“We shot well. Savvanah (Bateman) has been in a little bit of a slump, but she shot the ball well today. (Draper APA) plays a lot of zone and the extra pass usually got us open,” Glover said.

“I thought the kids shot the ball well and that’s what we do. We shoot a lot of 3s and Rylee (Little) cleans up.”

Draper APA finally found some offensive momentum in the fourth quarter with 21 points, but it was too late to dig itself out of the hole.

Kanab can thank its shooting, but also its all around effort for the win. The Cowboys won the rebounding battle, resulting in 20 second chance points to the Eagles’ two.

Kanab also held Draper APA to only 12 points in the paint.

A return trip to the championship for Kanab means a chance to win its third consecutive 2A state championship. Despite being the two-time returning champs, Glover said it’s been a season-long emphasis that his team doesn’t put any unnecessary pressure on itself.

“These senior girls have been here four times. I told them that they shouldn’t put a bunch of pressure on themselves to win every game this year because we returned all our starters,” said Glover.

“It just cant be that. It has to be for fun and I thought they played for fun today. (Draper APA) has girls who are really capable scorers and we shut them down pretty well today.”

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High school girls basketball: 6A/5A/4A/3A/2A/1A state tournament scores and schedules

No. 1 North Summit 54, No. 4 Beaver 40

Each year since its 2021 championship, No. 1 North Summit has been knocked out of the state tournament in the semifinals.

This year the Braves finally broke the curse with a 54-40 2A semifinal win over No. 4 Beaver on Friday.

“Having been in that championship game several times in my career, I know how sweet it is for the girls and it’s heartbreaking when you can’t help them get into that final game,” said North Summit head coach Jerre Holmes.

“It’s emotional. It makes you grateful for all the hard work you put in with them. We did it together and it tells them that this is what hard work and dedication turns into.”

It took three Braves players scoring double digits as well as seven assists from Hartlynn Richins to get the job done.  

“I think we have a really good team bond,” said Richins. “We keep each other engaged, we all score and pass, we know we have to work as a team.

“I’m so grateful to finally make it past the semifinals. It’s been hard getting beat out every year so I’m so happy to finally make it past it. I couldn’t be more proud of these girls.”

Holmes said it was an emphasis to get the ball into the paint, which was evident with Chezlie Langston’s seven first quarter points.

Langston ended the game with 17 points and added 10 rebounds for a double-double.

“We knew we had to do it in the paint,” said Holmes. “(Talisa Alisa) got her third foul and we wanted to make her defend and make her foul.

“Charly (Sargent) defended Danzee Bradshaw as well as you can defend someone who’s twice as tall as you. Getting the ball in the paint and containing (Bradshaw) was our two goals.”

At first it was Beaver that jumped out to a 15-9 lead after the first quarter. North Summit regained the lead as quickly as it had lost it, though, and ended the first quarter with a 25-21 lead.

“We’re experienced and we kept our composure.” said Holmes. “It’s hard to have a little lead and to hold onto it, so having enough composure to hang on and extended it is big.

“You need luck to win games at a state tournament. You live on heart and hope for luck and that’s what we did.”

Beaver regained the lead briefly in the third quarter, but North Summit outscored the Beavers 18-6 in the fourth to secure the semifinal victory.

Langston added six more points to her total in the fourth quarter. It was an emotional win for the North Summit senior who finally reached the championship after joining the varsity squad her sophomore year.

“I couldn’t be more grateful for my teammates and the work we put in to pull this win out,” said Langston.

“It’s super emotional. A lot of work has gone into it, so to come away with a win means a lot. It proved we’re good enough to play in the championship and come away with a win.”