3A State Girls Semifinals: Inside the match-ups

Today’s 3A State girls semifinal games — Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

All games at SUU’s Centrum Arena, Cedar City

3A State Tournament Girls Bracket

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SEMIFINAL 1 — 2:30 p.m.: Desert Hills (23-1) vs. Cedar (14-10)
Broadcast: ESPN SportsRadio 106.1 FM in St. George; 590-AM KSUB in Cedar City

THUNDER
Desert-Hills-smCoach: Chris Allred
Record: 23-1 overall, 12-0 in Region 9 (1st place)
Streak: 17 wins
Playoffs: Beat Grantsville 83-22; beat Juab 57-29
Last five: 5-0
PPG: 65.5
PAPG: 35.9
Probable starters: Haley Bodnar (14.4 ppg), Blair Bliss (12.6), Karlee Myers (7.0), Emily Seifert (6.8), Kassidy Cox (4.2)
Other key contributors: Kenzie Done (10.4), Ashley Beckstrand (7.9)

LADY REDS
cedar-smCoach: John Elison
Record: 14-10 overall, 6-6 in Region 9 (4th place)
Streak: 5 wins
Playoffs: Beat Bear River 54-46; beat Carbon 43-29
Last five: 5-0
PPG: 42.0
PAPG: 42.1
Probable starters: Courtney Morley (11.7 ppg), Javlyn Weaver (8.3), Lisa Ballenger (5.7), McKenna Collins (3.2), Shay Bauman (2.4)
Other key contributors: Hannah Williams (1.9)

Game outlook: Desert Hills fans may have been secretly rooting for Carbon in the quarterfinals over Cedar simply because they know how much improved the Lady reds are and how good a game Cedar played against the Thunder back in December. But the fact remains DH won that game by 15 and won the second match-up between the two teams by 35 up in Cedar City. The Lady Reds are 6-1 since that home loss, so they are clearly playing some good basketball right now. But they’ll have to do it with defense as the Reds just don’t have the ability to score much more than about 50 points, especially against an excellent Desert Hills defense. A game in the 40s might give Cedar a chance. Anything over that should send DH to another championship game.

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SEMIFINAL 2 — 4:10 p.m.: North Sanpete (19-3) vs. Morgan (22-1)

HAWKS
north-sanpete-smCoach: Randi Griffith
Record: 19-3 overall, 7-1 in Region 12 (1st place)
Streak: 8 wins
Playoffs: Beat Park City 59-39; beat Hurricane 48-37
Last five: 5-0
PPG: 48.5
PAPG: 38.3
Probable starters: Taylor Gordon (19.1 ppg), Jacey Dunn (8.2), Keisha Jorgensen (6.4), Ashley Nuttall (4.4), McKenna Burch (3.8)
Other key contributors: Lindee Christensen (2.8), Aubrey Madsen (2.0)

TROJANS
morgan-sm
Coach: Brad Matthews
Record: 22-1 overall, 8-0 in region 10 (1st place)
Streak: 15 wins
Playoffs: Beat Richfield 77-30; beat Stansbury 61-24
Last five: 5-0
PPG: 73.5
PAPG: 41.0
Probable starters: Rashel Blazzard (19.5 ppg), Breanna Hurlbut (12.8), Lisa Vancampen (9.2), Jessica Carter (9.0), Savanna Brooks (7.6)
Other key contributors: Alli Tonks (6.4), Aubrey Saunders (4.3), Kate Blazzard (4.1)

Game Outlook: Gordon is an excellent athlete and great basketball player and is complemented well by Dunn, but the duo will have a hard time against the all-around team strength and athleticism of Morgan, which won its 15th straight game Thursday night. Ten different players scored for Morgan and that’s how they get you as the Lady Trojans bring so much depth to the table. Morgan did have a fairly close game (nine points) in the preseason with Richfield, which finished third in Region 12 behind North Sanpete, but it’s a reach to make any comparison there. The Hawks’ biggest issue this year may be that they haven’t played a tough schedule, thus they may be unprepared for a game that will be played at this high a level. Still, it should be Morgan’s toughest test in a long time.

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3A State Tournament Girls Bracket

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