LOGAN – On a day full of blowouts and almost-close games, Richfield and Cedar staged an epic contest that needed an extra period to find a winner.
“Oh my goodness, that’s one of those where as a coach you’re saying, ‘No, no, no … good shot,” Richfield coach Marc Peterson said of the big shot by Daniels. “That’s how Daniels is – she’s a shooter. And when she’s got an open shot, we’re used to letting her shoot it. And so she did what she’s done all year, let it fly. We’ve got a lot of confidence in her, but that one scared me a little bit.”
With a few free throws, the Wildcats were nursing a 40-38 lead at the time of the Daniels’ clutch basket. She had a loose ball come her way about 14 feet out on the baseline. Without hesitation, she buried the jumper. Teammate Caitlyn Nabity said her team needed the boost.
“I had a few mental mistakes in the overtime and I’m glad my teammates were there to help,” Nabity said. “They stepped up and hit some shots and picked me up.”
Nabity, the junior point guard, was the unquestioned star of the night for the Wildcats. She had 17 points, six rebounds and four steals for Richfield and made big shot after big shot in the game … until the overtime, where she scored just one point on 1 of 4 free throws. Her first make did give the Wildcats the lead at 39-38 90 seconds into the four-minute OT.
Shandi Bastian’s free throw made it 40-38 with 1:30 left. A Cedar turnover led to the big shot by Daniels.
Maisie Elison pulled the Lady Reds within 42-40 with a bucket inside with 27 seconds left and Cedar had a chance to tie it after Richfield missed two free throws, but a late lefty shot in the paint by Elison was off the mark and the Wildcats advanced.
“He got me on that one,” Cedar coach John Elison said. “They never play man on the inbounds pass. I mean never, so I drew up a play to win the game right there. And they came out in man and blew everything up. But we got a shot off and gave ourselves a chance and that’s all you can ask for.”
Lindsey Robinson’s 3-pointer forced the overtime. She hit a contested trey at the top of the key with 36 seconds left to knot the game up at 36-36. Both teams had possessions to end the game in regulation in the closing seconds of the fourth, but both ended in turnovers.
“That’s state basketball,” Coach Elison said. “There’s pressure and nerves and sometimes things don’t go as planned.”
Neither team even got a decent shot off in the last 35 seconds of regulation.
Offense was hard to come by in the first half. Cedar managed just two field goals in the first quarter, a 3-pointer by Robinson a minute into the game and then a basket inside by Robinson with 3:35 to go in the first. Even so, the Lady Reds were only behind by an 8-5 count after one as Richfield struggled to find its shooting touch as well.
Robinson scored five more in the second quarter and got some help from her teammates this time as Cedar was able to tie it at 14-14 at the half. Sara Pearson, Elison and Dream Weaver had baskets in the quarter.
The extremely tight game continued through the third quarter, with Richfield pushing out to a five-point lead, then Cedar closed the third on an 8-2 run to take a 26-25 lead into the fourth quarter.
Robinson led Cedar with 15 points, five rebounds and four assists in the game. Maisie Elison added 11 points and seven boards, but Cedar drops to the consolation bracket and a Friday game at 11:10 a.m. at the Smith Spectrum against Grantsville, which lost to Morgan.
“There have been a lot of ups and downs this year,” Coach Elison said. “We practiced all summer with these girls and with Morgan Myers and a week before the season she moves to St. George. It took us a while to figure out who we were and who was going to fill that hole this year. But I thought we were playing really well as of late and would carry that into the state tournament. But not tonight.”
Cedar, 17-6, beat Richfield in double overtime earlier this season.
The Wildcats, 20-3, move into Friday’s state semifinal against Morgan, 5:50 p.m. tipoff.
3A STATE GIRLS BASKETBALL QUARTERFINALS
Carbon 59, Desert Hills 44
Juan Diego 44, Union 34
Richfield 42, Cedar 40 (F/OT)
Morgan def. Grantsville
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.