Basketball

6A Basketball Roundup: Championship Games Held in Boys, Girls Tournament

Lone Peak and Herriman compete in a 6A high school girls basketball semifinal game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

Lone Peak and Herriman compete in a 6A high school women’s basketball semifinal game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 3, 2022. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

Estimated reading time: 6-7 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — The first game of the night set the tone for the next three games as the No. 5 Herriman Mustangs and No. 1 Lone Peak Knights tied 49-49 with just under two minutes left to play in the girls 6A state tournament.

Herriman made it all possible with a 10-5 run to start the fourth quarter.

Knights head coach Nancy Warner chose to take advantage of the fact that a shot clock won’t be added to high school basketball until next year and instructed her players to run it around the perimeter until until there are only seven seconds left in the rules.

The ball ended up in the hands of Knights point guard Makelli Ika, who had just 4 points the entire game. The junior got the ball at the top of the key and decided to take it herself, bursting into the heart of the defense to finish with a hard-fought lay-up with 2.8 seconds left to secure a 51-49 victory for the Knights and move on to the championship game.

“We executed what we needed to and I’m proud the girls were able to do it,” Warner said. “It’s hard to keep the ball for that long, so it was huge for our girls to step in and play that situation well.”

Herriman held a narrow 31-28 halftime lead, but Lone Peak came out strong in the third quarter to double the Mustangs’ offensive output, which ultimately propelled them to victory.

Fremont and Westlake compete in a 6A women's basketball semifinal game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 3, 2022.
Fremont and Westlake compete in a 6A high school women’s basketball semifinal game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 3, 2022. (Photo: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

No. 3 Westlake vs. No. 2 Fremont

The Fremont Silverwolves girls looked to be in trouble early on as they trailed 24-18 minutes into the second quarter, but broke out on a 16-0 run to end the half to give Fremont the lead. momentum needed to secure a 49-40 win. .

“I felt like our defensive energy really drove this run,” Fremont head coach Lisa Dalebout said. “Because we were competing on defense and bouncing better, I think that really activated our offense and led to better shooting.”

Westlake led 21-16 after the first quarter but fell behind when Fremont outscored the Thunder 18-3 in the second quarter. Part of that was dominating play from Fremont center and Nebraska entry Maggie Mendelson, who has been one of Fremont’s best players all season.

Mendelson struggled in the first quarter with the physicality of the Thunder before dominating the rest of the night and finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.

“It was a challenging adjustment to play a team with good post defenders, but once we started to slow down and find the players open, everything opened up inside,” Mendelson said. “We really pulled it off and it was a good win.”

Junior guard Ally Combs added 14 points as the Silverwolves managed to keep the Thunder from coming back strong for a late comeback.

Corner Canyon and Westlake face off in a high school 6A boys' basketball semifinal game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 3, 2022.
Corner Canyon and Westlake compete in a high school 6A boys’ basketball semifinal game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 3, 2022. (Photo: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

No. 5 Westlake vs. No. 4 Corner Canyon

Fresh off a big upset win over top-seeded Bingham, the Westlake boys were looking to continue their impressive run. But Corner Canyon senior Jaiden Feroah had other plans.

Feroah scored 26 points — his second-highest total of the season — drained four 3-pointers and had four blocks to help the Chargers advance to the championship game with a 68-60 victory over Westlake.

“It feels good, and we’ve worked so many days and hours to get to this moment,” Feroah said. “They kept leaving me open to pick and pop, so I just shot with confidence and was able to help my team to victory.”

It was a home and away game all night, with the Chargers leading by just 1 point after Willy Jensen drilled a 3-pointer for the Thunder on the first possession of the fourth quarter. But as they had gone the whole game as the lead was tight, Corner Canyon responded with a 9-0 run that was ultimately too much for Westlake to overcome.

“I thought our kids were making games when we needed to,” Corner Canyon head coach Dan Lunt said. “We knew Westlake wouldn’t go and they kept racing, and what I’m most proud of is our kids’ resilience to extend the lead every time he got close.”

American Fork and Pleasant Grove compete in a high school 6A boys' basketball semifinal game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 3, 2022.
American Fork and Pleasant Grove compete in a high school 6A boys’ basketball semifinal game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, March 3, 2022. (Photo: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

American Fork #10 vs. Pleasant Grove #3

The cavemen of American Fork and the Vikings of Pleasant Grove were locked in battle throughout the game, with both sides unable to get away from the other. The biggest lead of the game by either team was just 6 points.

With just over a minute left in the game, senior guard Even Young knocked down a pair of free throws to give American Fork a 51-46 lead.

Things looked bleak for Pleasant Grove until McCaden Adams drilled a deep 3-pointer and was fouled in the process. The senior guard made the free throw to make it a one-score game with less than a minute left in regulation. The Vikings eventually fouled rookie Tiger Cuff, who went 1 of 2 from the free throw line to give American Fork the chance to take the lead.

In the next position, Adams drove to the basket on his right side but was doubled as he spun back left. He realized the double was coming so he threw it past junior Isaac Garret, who made his only 3-pointer of the game to give the Vikings a 53-52 lead with less than 45 seconds left in the game. match.

After a timeout, senior Cavemen guard Ollie Anderson wasted no time getting to the basket and, after a quick simulated pump to get his Vikings defender off the ground, he fell into the starting basket to give American Fork a 54-53 lead.

With 19 seconds left, Pleasant Grove still had a chance, but Young stepped up with two of the biggest defensive plays of the year. He fought on a screen and fired a charge; then after knocking down two more free throws, Young blocked the Vikings’ final 3-point attempt to seal a 56-53 Cavemen victory.

“I was able to make those plays all season, so to be able to do that at that time was really good,” Young said. “It was an intense game, and I feel like our defense as a team is really locked down.”

The Cavemen held the Vikings to 12 points or less in each of the first three quarters before the Vikings made their late comeback in the fourth quarter.

“There’s always a lot of emotion in games like these, and we knew it would be a battle. At this point, you survive and you’re happy to be able to move on,” the head coach said. American Fork, Ryan Cuff. “I’m proud of the composure of these guys and the way they locked themselves in.”

Pictures

More stories that might interest you