Calm, cool Tigers upset top-seeded Mountain View

Hurricane vs. Mountain View, Girls Basketball, Orem, Utah, Mar. 1, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

OREM – When the pressure was on, Hurricane stayed cool, and now the Lady Tigers are headed to the 4A state semifinals.

Jayden Langford scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Hurricane defeated Mountain View 53-44 Thursday night in the 4A state quarterfinals at the UCCU Center in Orem. Kylee Stevens added nine points and six rebounds in the No. 2-seeded Hurricane upset of the top-seeded Bruins.

“Earlier in the year people were saying where is Jayden, where is she? I always kept telling them she’ll come and since starting region she has been awesome,” Hurricane head coach Franci Homer said. “I can’t ask more of her for a girl that does so much offensively and defensively for us. We put her on their best girl and I know at times she was frustrated to keep up with her and I told her yes you can I’m not asking you to stop her from scoring because she is a great scorer I just need you to play her tough.”

Hurricane’s Jayden Langford (11), Hurricane vs. Mountain View, Girls Basketball, Orem, Utah, Mar. 1, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Tahlia White had 24 points for Mt. View, but did it on 8 for 23 shooting.

But the big story of the game was the calm manner in which the underdog Tigers conducted themselves late in the game.

“We knew we were going to come here and we had confidence in ourselves,” said HHS’s Madi Hirschi. “We worked very hard to come and we practiced so hard and put in some much time and money and effort and we knew were coming to state and that we wouldn’t be stopped.”

Hurricane was down in the first half, but a flurry of scoring by Langford just before halftime gave the Tigers the advantage. A 3-pointer by Hailey Homer gave the Tigers a 17-14 edge with 4:15 to go in the second quarter. It was tied at 19-19 when Langford hit her first 3-pointer of the game with two minutes left in the second quarter.

The Bruins got within 22-21 when Langford struck again from deep, making it 25-21 with 1:05 left in the half. Hischi and Langford each scored again and it was 29-24 at intermission.

Mt. View made up lost ground in the third quarter behind White’s 3-point shooting and it was 39-39 early in the fourth quarter. Hirschi gave Hurricane the lead with a deep trey from the corner with 4:40 left in the game, a shot that changed the rest of the contest.

“She was right in front me and I was like ‘Shoot it!’ but she can’t hear me anyway … and it goes,” Coach Homer said. “She’s a great shooter and that’s where she’s scored most of her points all year long.”

Hurricane’s Kylee Stevens (5), Hurricane vs. Mountain View, Girls Basketball, Orem, Utah, Mar. 1, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Langford said it was a huge lift for the team.

“That really got us going,” she said. “Just something little can pump you up like a 3-pointer like that, it can really get you going. I think we realized that we can do this and a lot of teams overlook us, but we know we can do it.”

Hurricane never trailed after that, staying calm as the Bruins started launching contested 3-pointers.

Hailey Homer hit a pair of free throws and Langford scored inside as the lead went to 46-41 with under two minutes left. Langford then nailed two more free throws and it was 48-40 with 1:30 on the clock. Homer then iced it with a bucket with 30 seconds to go, even though Hurricane could have held the ball and waited for a foul.

“I know! And it went in!,” Coach Homer said. “I was going to kill her, but she made it. But that really is one of her shots. She loves the baseline, so it was good. But holy sweat!”

The Tigers, 15-9, outrebounded Mt. View 43-33 and made 4 of 10 3-pointers in the game. Hurricane advances to the 4A semifinals and will play the fourth seed from Region 10, Lehi, at 4:10 p.m. Friday.

Mt. View, which finishes the year with a 19-3 record, made just 3 of 17 3-pointers in the contest.

4A first round results
Upper bracket
Spanish Fork 72, Stansbury 53
Logan 57, Pine View 49
Cedar 56, Bear River 34
Salem Hills 62, Tooele 25

Lower bracket
Hurricane 62, Green Canyon 53
Mt. View 57, Juan Diego 29
Lehi 44, Bonneville 38
Desert Hills 50, Ridgeline 49

4A quarterfinal matchups (@ UCCU Center, Utah Valley University)

Upper bracket
Logan 62, Spanish Fork 45
Salem Hills 58, Cedar 48

Lower bracket
Hurricane 53, Mt. View 44
Lehi 45, Desert Hills 41

 

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