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Falcon girls draw Lehi to start hoops tourney



The Skyridge girls basketball team won both of their finalleague contests last week as they wrapped up the regular season with a fourth-place finish in Region 3 at 4-6 and 12-10 overall.

Junior guard Merceius Mili, who has had to sit out several weeks with an injury, will be back on the court this week just in time to start the playoffs. The Falcons finished at No. 12 in the final 6A RPI rankings and they will visit No. 5 Lehi (14-8) in the second round of the tournament on Thursday (Feb. 22) at 7 p.m.

The winner of that contest will face the winner of No. 4 Syracuse (17-5) and No. 13 Pleasant Grove (11-12) in the quarterfinals on Feb. 26 at 9:10 p.m. at the University of Utah’s Huntsman Center.

Feb13: Skyridge 61, Pleasant Grove 57

The Falcons prevailed in a back-and-forth battle through the whole contest. They led 14-11 at the end of the first quarter but it was only 29-27 at the break. The advantage was still just a single bucket entering the final period.

Pleasant Grove continued to work hard and had a one-point edge with less than a minute remaining, but the visitors came up with just enough plays down the stretch to pocket the satisfying victory.

Senior guard Cambree Blackham had a great night, netting 24 points including a couple of triples plus three rebounds, threesteals and two blocks. She also passed the 1,000-point benchmark for her career.

Junior guard Lillian Meyer contributed 12 points and three boards. Senior guard Shae Toole’s 10 points included a pair of treys, one of which pushed her team back out in front late in the fourth. In addition, she had four rebounds, two assists, four steals and a single turnover for a great all-around outing.


Junior guard Bella Sika added eight points and four boards.Junior guard Portia Hugh also came up with four rebounds, senior forward Sadie Buttars made two assists and senior Jada Smith chipped in two steals and a block.

“Tonight was a great team win,” said Coach Shaylee Nielsen. “Everyone found a way to contribute on both ends and we had really balanced scoring.

“Cambree had a big game with 24 points and reached 1,000 career points in the game,” the coach said. “Shae Toole hit a big three in the last minute when we were down one to take the lead.”

Feb16Skyridge 56, American Fork 49

With senior night emotions as the backdrop, both teams struggled to find the hoop the entire first half. The Cavemen led just 6-4 after the first quarter but their advantage expanded to 19-11 at the break.

The Falcons returned from the locker room with some focus and fire and took control of the game by outscoring the visitors 26-11 in the third period to take a 37-30 margin into the final stanza. They were able to hold off the determined visitors to pocket the win.

Blackham had another great outing with 23 points shooting 7-of-9 (78%) from the floor and also had five rebounds, seven assists and five steals. Toole added seven points with three boards, two assists and three steals.

Meyer scored eight points and Sika had six with three rebounds.Hugh made important contributions with six boards and five steals and Smith grabbed seven rebounds. Buttars had four points and three assists while sophomore forward Ariane Moea’i had five points.


“We had good looks in the first half but couldn’t get the ball to fall,” Nielsen said. “In the third quarter, we put a lot of pressure on them with our press and we were able to turn the ball over a lot and get great looks to have a huge quarter. 

“When we can create urgency with our defense, our offense flows a lot better,” she said. “It was a good win to give us some momentum going into the playoffs.

“It will be a fun night going to Lehi for the second-round game,” the coach said. “I anticipate a good crowd and lots of energy. We need to create some offense with our defense and start strong.

“In our last game with Lehi we had a hard time scoring in the first quarter and had to play catch up the whole game,” Nielsen said. “It will be a good challenge and we’re excited to try and make a run in the playoffs.”

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