The Piute girls basketball team was able to advance in the 1A tournament Thursday night in Richfield.
The Thunderbirds took down Tabiona in a 45-35 quarterfinals encounter.
“It took a whole team effort to get that win,” said Piute coach Tim Westwood. “We worried about Tabiona because of their size. Also, they push the ball pretty good and have some good shooters.”
Piute’s girls started off strong, holding Tabiona to one field goal in the first quarter, which ended 11-6 in favor of the T-Birds.
Tabiona was able to close the gap to just one point with 3:43 left in the first half thanks to a run that was capped by Abbie Rhoades, who hit a her first of two 3-pointers during the game.
Piute took the momentum back, capitalizing on three trips to the foul line and a shot from Kaycee Gleave.
However, Gracie Fabrizio drained a downtowner for Tabiona as the halftime buzzer sounded, bringing the score the 23-18 in favor of Piute.
Rhoades, who totaled 17 points in the game, and teammate Paiton Lazenby, who ended the night with 13 points, pressed the attack early in the third quarter. With 6:32 left in the period, Tabiona had knotted the game at 24-all.
That’s when Piute’s Tera Morgan hit a 3-pointer, followed by a shot from the paint from Kassidy Westwood to gain a five-point advantage.
“Kassidy is just a good floor general for us,” Tim Westwood said. “She settles us down and gets us into our offensive sets.”
Rhoades sank another trey, followed by another shot inside the perimeter to knot the game again at 29-all.
That’s when Piute went on a 13-point jaunt, closing the third quarter with a 42-29 edge.
“I feel like our press kind of got to them in the third quarter,” Westwood said. “We took good shots, didn’t force the ball and didn’t turn it over as much.”
The T-Birds didn’t look back in the final stanza.
“Our freshman Kaycee Gleave got some good steals and rebounded well tonight,” Tim Westwood said. “She stepped up for us during a big game almost like she didn’t even feel the pressure.”
Gleave led the team in steals with six.
Kassidy Westwood led Piute’s scoring effort with 16. Morgan and Talbot each added 10 points to the effort.
Moving on in the tournament, Tim Westwood said he’s expecting some challenging games.
“It’ll be a battle no matter who we play,” he said.