High school girls basketball: Riverton claims first 5A basketball title in school history
Maddi Smith finally ignited the Layton offense with a wing 3-pointer with 38.7 remaining in the first and eventually pulled her team within four, 20-16, at halftime.
In the third, Layton captured its first lead off two freebies by Smith. It occurred in the midst of a 13-6 run that culminated when Ashley Price rattled home a 3-pointer for a 29-25 advantage.
Smith scored 13 points with nine rebounds and two assists while Price added seven points. Jaden Anderson chipped in 11 points along with eight boards.
“Layton’s hot, and they were coming back,” Ence, who waited 35 years to rightfully boast a state championship trophy after losing in 1977 and ’78 as a player at Olympus, said. “It was like, ‘Come on girls. Let’s draw the line in the sand. We cannot let them get it in the basket,’ and they still got it in there a few times.”
Riverton ended the third quarter on a 6-2 run behind a flurry of offensive rebounds that gave it four or five cracks at the basket. The ‘Wolves finished with an astonishing 17 offensive rebounds.
“We got our share,” Ence said. “So, we’re proud that we were in there fighting.”
After Cassidy Anderson connected on two free throws, Riverton found itself trailing 33-31 to begin the fourth. It turned toward Jamie Smith — who was 1 for 11 and 0 for 4 from distance. As the ball trickled from the corner, Mallory Bostic found Richards, who instinctively delivered a touch pass to Smith.
Smith squared her feet and buried it.
“She wasn’t lighting it up but she was playing much more confident,” Ence, who compared his animated emotions to the Sundance Kid, said. “Earlier in the year she’d miss a shot and stop shooting. I said, ‘Keep shooting. That’s what the good ones do.’ And she made a big 3 there.”
The ‘Wolves never relinquished the lead again.
Deseret News 5A Girls All-Tournament Team
MVP – Whitney Saunders, Riverton
Shelby Richards, Riverton
Ashley Price, Layton
Maddi Smith, Layton
Shelbee Molen, Fremont
Jillian Powell, Bingham