TAYLORSVILLE — Nobody would’ve batted an eye had Weber given a so-so effort in the first round of the 6A playoffs on Tuesday. After all, a win meant advancing to the second round to face top-seed Fremont, a team it already lost to twice in region play by an average of 52.5 points.
Turns out, motivation wasn’t a problem at all for the Warriors.
They played inspired ball from the opening tip, jumping out to a quick lead over Taylorsville — a team it lost to back in the preseason — on their way to the convincing 44-31 victory.
“It’s a great credit to the girls to come out and get us a W. We haven’t won a playoff game at Weber in a long time,” said Weber coach Mark Hansen.
The upcoming challenge at Fremont on Friday is obviously daunting, but Hansen is excited his players are up for the challenge.
MaKaylee Nye led the way on Tuesday for Weber, finishing with 11 points, while Shelby Fronk scored nine points on three 3-pointers and AnaLyn Capener added six points on a pair of 3-pointers.
Getting shots to drop was key for Weber because in the 47-41 loss at Taylorsville earlier this season, it couldn’t make anything after halftime.
Weber led that game 29-22 at the half but made just 1-of-26 shots in the second as Taylorsville rallied for the win.
Olivia Ashton was key for Taylorsville in that game with 18 points and 15 rebounds, but Weber did a much better job defending her on Tuesday.
“Defensively I thought we were really good tonight, took away what they like to do. They just threw it to (Ashton) all game in December and we felt we had no answer, so we did a better job defending her. We just tried to be physical and keep her off her spots, and I know they get a lot of things over the top.”
Ashton still finished with 12 points, but nothing came easy for her or her teammates all night.
A two-minute stretch to start the fourth quarter gave Taylorsville hope of another comeback though. Trailing 35-19 after the third, it scored seven quick points to trim the deficit to 35-26, which prompted Hansen to call a timeout.
“We were breaking their press but just jacking up the first shot we had. With a lead we needed to maybe take a little more clock off and take four or five passes and get a shot,” said Hansen.
That’s exactly what his players did as they pulled away for the school’s first playoff win since Weber advanced to the 5A championship back in 2012.