RICHFIELD — Championship experience paid off for the Beaver Beavers on Friday afternoon.
Beaver, the reigning 2A champions, easily beat Kanab 39-24 in the 2A semifinals to earn the right to defend its title against Enterprise on Saturday. Beaver and Kanab split their two meetings during the regular season, and Friday's game figured to be a toss-up.
The champs, however, played like they've been here before, which they have, and had little trouble with the Cowboys in the rubber match between the two teams.
"Our girls were ready to play," said Beaver coach Jon Marshall. "We just got off to a good start and I think we had a lot of confidence after that."
Beaver made two runs in the first half to put the game away early. The first was a 10-0 run sparked by a 3-pointer from Lexi Moss. That spurt put the Beavers up 13-3. After the Cowboys closed to within 13-9 early in the second, Beaver scored eight straight points on baskets by Hannah and Hatti Snyder. The Beavers led by double digits throughout the second half.
"It just seemed like we always had control of the game," Marshall said. "Every time it seemed like they were threatening to come back, we had girls hit shots, make some plays. I'm really proud of them. It was one of the best games we played all year."
Moss, a move-in from Layton who averaged 6.9 points per game as a junior last season for the Lancers, got Beaver going early. She scored eight of Beaver's first nine points, and caused trouble for Kanab's guards throughout the game.
"We're sure glad to have her," Marshall said. "You see that she makes great plays out there. We definitely wouldn't be where we're at without her."
Hannah Snyder, a starter and contributor for last year's state championship team, also played well for the Beavers. She scored nine of her 13 points in the first half.
"I'm very glad to see her have a good game," Marshall said. "She's going to have to play well for us to beat Enterprise."
With the formalities out of the way, Beaver and Enterprise will tangle for the 2A championship. Beaver lost to Enterprise twice during the regular season, both by 10 points. The Beavers have history on their side, as they defeated the Wolves in the state title game last season, and in the championship game in 2002 and 2004.
"We wouldn't have it any other way," Marshall said. "Enterprise is a great team. They've been the best team all year long in 2A."
The Beavers, however, are confident after playing Enterprise tougher than most teams during the regular season.
"The first time we played them we didn't have good offense," Moss said. "The second time we had good offense and no defense. I don't think they can handle us all at one time."