CEDAR CITY — What does it say about a team when it wins by 28 and the head coach is unhappy with the effort.
Desert Hills held Juab to one point in the first quarter and ended up with a 57-29 victory Friday evening in the state 3A quarterfinals at SUU’s Centrum Arena. Thunder coach Chris Allred wasn’t really impressed.
“We had a real lack of patience offensively,” Allred said. “We settled for a lot of quick shots. We weren’t very patient. The other thing is we didn’t play with the same intensity on defense. We didn’t play with the same crispness we normally do.”
Early on, Desert Hills looked very sharp and perhaps that’s why the team had a bit of a letdown after the first quarter. The Thunder opened the game by allowing just one point, while scoring 19, in the first nine minutes. Emily Seifert started the party off with a couple of baseline swishes and Ashley Beckstrand and Blair Bliss each hit 3-pointers in the opening run.
“It was definitely harder with it being the first game, just the jitters,” Seifert said. “But overall, I think we did really well.”
DH pushed the lead to 29-6 with 2:28 left in the first half, then things got a little sloppy.
“We were just really trying to stress defensive intensity,” Beckstrand said. “We just had a lack of focus, just not getting back on defense as fast as (coach) wanted us to.”
Juab closed to within 32-13 at the half, a mini 7-3 run and actually held serve through most of the second half. It was only a 25-16 advantage for the heavily-favored Thunder after intermission.
But despite the lackluster second half, DH easily advances to the state semifinals, where it has been for three straight years now. The Thunder will play at 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon against region 9 foe Cedar, winners over Carbon.
Kenzie Done led the Thunder with 17 points and Bliss added 12. Seifert and Karlee Myers had 10 each for the 23-1 DH squad.
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Videocast by Andy Griffin, Bryce Griffin, and Amber Green, St. George News
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