Lehi girls survive tough test to move on in playoffs
The No. 4 Lehi girls basketball team had a fight on their hands against Region 8 foe Jordan in the second round of the 5A state tournament Thursday night but managed to make the necessary plays down the stretch to close out the victory and advance to the quarterfinal round.
The No. 13 Beetdiggers (14-11) defeated No. 20 Box Elder (8-15) to reach this game and played a determined, physical contest to try to win it.
The Pioneers (17-6) have advanced to the quarterfinals, where they will face No. 21 Spanish Fork (11-12). The Dons upset No. 3 Cottonwood (17-6) with one extra basket in overtime during their second-round game.
The tournament now moves to Weber State University’s Dee Events Center. Lehi drew the late game time and will play at 9:10 p.m. on Wednesday (March 1). The winner will take on either No. 1 Springville (21-2) or No. 8 Timpanogos (14-8) in the semifinals on Friday at 3 p.m.
Follow the tournament results for Lehi-area teams all week at lehifreepress.com.
Feb. 23: Lehi 46, Jordan 41
The Pioneers missed their first few shot attempts in this game and fell behind early, but made a late run in the period to move ahead 13-8. However, they scored just four points in the second and gave up 12, so they were trailing by a basket at the end of the half.
That was still the case entering the fourth quarter, but junior guard Sammi Love opened it with a long triple, and on the next possession, junior guard Addy Scrivner made the first of four steals she had during the final stanza and took the ball coast-to-coast for a layup.
Later in the period, when Lehi had fallen behind again, Love tossed the ball to junior wing Malia Havea, who had managed to work herself free momentarily from the relentless Beetdigger defense, and she hit a 3-pointer to put her team in front, for good as it turned out.
Jordan sent Love to the line three times in the final two minutes. Two of those trips followed intentional fouls for possession and were 1-and-1s since the Beetdiggers were not yet in the double bonus. Love made them all, going 8-for-8 from the charity stripein the game and finishing with 20 points.
The team was a combined 12-of-12 at the line, critical points on a night when other usually-reliable shots just weren’t falling.Scriver finished with a hard-won 10 points after being double-teamed for the whole game. Havea added five points and sophomore wing Ellie Hill scored four with a busy floor effort.
“Even though we prepared all week for this game, we were a little nervous,” Love said. “Addy killed it on defense and Ellie really hustled. We did what we needed to do at the end to win.”
As for her own perfect free-throw night, she simply said, “I knew I had to make them. This was a good playoff game for us and should set the tone for the rest of the week.”
“I first want to say that Jordan is not a 13 seed,” said Coach Sean Seastrand. “They’re much better than their record and are a top-5 team in my mind. Props to them, they played us absolutely tough. That was a team that could contend for a state championship.
“In preparing for this game, we were focused on limiting their offensive rebounds, and I think we were able to do that,” he said. “Obviously, we made clutch plays down the stretch.
“Malia hit that huge three when she’s been fighting sickness all week. Addy had a rough offensive night for her but got those steals when we needed them,” Seastrand continued. “I’m so proud of how our girls reacted to our struggles by staying focused on the next play.
“I also have to give a shoutout to our JV team. They went undefeated this season and having to play against them every day in practice has allowed the varsity girls to step up and be successful,” he concluded.