ST. GEORGE — The momentum oscillated from one quarter to the next in the Parowan Rams’ matchup at Crimson Cliffs Mustangs’ girls basketball.
The Mustangs decisively outscored the Rams in quarters one and three, but were outplayed on the scoreboard in quarters two and four. The end result was a close 57-49 final in favor of Crimson Cliffs.
“I thought we started off really strong in both halves,” Crimson Cliffs head coach KaCee McArthur said.
Skylar Sherratt took control early in the game, knocking down a trio from the field to propel Crimson Cliffs to an 18-8 lead after one. Foul trouble and mistakes by the Mustangs in the second quarter gave 2A Parowan the 27-26 edge at halftime.
A steal by senior guard Maddee Mathews that she rushed down court and laid up gave Parowan its first lead of the game. After Crimson Cliffs took the next five points to claim a 22-20 lead, junior Karlee Wood hit a wide-open three to take the advantage back. Finally, with Parowan down two with just under 10 seconds to go in the frame, senior Brooklyn Pace took a foul on a layup and converted the and-one for the 3-point play.
The third quarter was all Crimson Cliffs. The Mustangs scored 13 consecutive points to open the frame, holding the Rams scoreless for more than four minutes in the process. They pushed through Parowan’s aggressive defense to open up opportunities in the post, then used that to open up more opportunities from the field, including the team’s lone 3-pointer from sophomore guard Ashtin Hansen. Sophomore Kenadee Richey used her speed to open up holes, scoring six of her team-leading 14 points in the third.
Crimson Cliffs stretched the lead out to as many as 13 points, taking a 10-point spread into the final eight minutes.
In come-from-behind mode, Parowan pressed even more and drew four shooting fouls and went 7-for-8 on free throws, including a 3-for-4 from senior Danika Jones. The Rams added 9 from the field, including a 2- and a 3-pointer from Matthews.
Their aggressive style and dwindling clock also meant they got desperate, as they sent Crimson Cliffs to the line for nine shots. The Mustangs only landed four, but the sequences helped keep the ball on Parowan’s side of the court. The Rams closed the gap to 8 but did not have enough time to get any closer.
Hansen scored 13 points for Crimson Cliffs, trailing only Richey in the game. Brinley Meadows added 12, including six in the fourth quarter to help stave off the Rams’ comeback attempt.
Parowan drops to 1-4. The Mustangs improved to 2-1, despite losing senior center Brooklyn Winget to injury and being down a few players to begin with.
“We had some injuries,” McArthur said. “We had a couple things happen, and we did what we did. Not much else you can do, we didn’t have a lot.”
It’ll be a quick turnaround for the Mustangs, who had to Enterprise on Wednesday to take on the Wolves. Tipoff is 7 p.m.
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