1A girls basketball tournament: Bryce Valley finishes sixth with win over Milford
RICHFIELD — This one's for you, Steve Pollock.
The Bryce Valley Mustangs promised Pollock the season would end with a win and it did — a 54-44 win over Milford Saturday afternoon at the Sevier Valley Center.
OK, it wasn't the win any of the players hoped to give Pollock, who is the father of junior guard Makelle Pollock, when he asked coach Tyson Brinkerhoff to win him a state title back in July.
But the girls said their promise to Pollock, who is suffering from pancreatic cancer, evolved after they lost in the first round of the 1A State Tournament on Wednesday.
They felt they were honoring him when they played their best, and they did that Saturday when they defeated region-rival Milford for sixth place.
"It's truly a successful season," Brinkerhoff said. "I'm really proud of the girls."
The Mustangs recorded their first 20-win season in girls basketball the school's history. They also extracted a little revenge when they defeated Milford, the team that beat them in the Region 20 tournament and sent them into the tournament as a No. 4 seed.
"They worked so hard," Brinkerhoff said. "They want to play the their best."
He said it was their effort that really honored Pollock and their promise to him.
The team was led by Shelby Cornforth, who scored 15 points, while Pollock's daughter, Makelle, added 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Junior Whitni Syrett added another 11 points in edging the Tigers.
Milford made an impressive run in the fourth quarter, during which Cornforth fouled out. They scored 22 points, but couldn't hold off the prolific Mustang offense.
Milford was led by Shyla Sherwood, who scored 16 points, and Sherri Pectol, who added nine points. Chandler Rose scored eight and Mariah Dotson chipped in seven points in the finish that earned them eighth place.
Brinkerhoff said the girls have learned some valuable lessons this season — on and off the court.
"You don't always get what you want," he said. "Basketball is life experience, and that's what I hope they remember."