The Rich girls basketball team did not get off to a good start.
After just one half of play, the Rebels found themselves down by more than a handful of points and, to add insult to injury, one player on the opposing Milford squad had outscored the entire Rich team.
In his halftime talk, Rich coach Scott Ferguson altered his team's defensive strategy, which put the Rebels in prime position to rally and defeat the Tigers, 35-29, in the opening round of the 1A girls basketball tournament at the Sevier Valley Center Wednesday morning.
"Chandler Rose had 19 in just the first half and hit five 3s," said Ferguson, whose team trailed 23-16 at the midpoint. "Those two (Rose and Kennedy Netto) were the only two hurting us, so we switched into a triangle-and-two, and it made a difference."
Rich, the Region 17 champion, held Rose to just four more points as she finished with 23. Netto accounted for the other six points. A major key to the successful defensive effort was Ellen Peart, who sprained her ankle early in the game but continued in spite of the injury.
"All of my players did a great job executing their role," Ferguson said. "They really bought into what we were trying to accomplish as a team."
The Rebels were led in scoring by Cami Lamborn, who had 12 points, and Carol Weston, who had 10 points.
Rich advances to play Wendover, the second seed from Region 18, at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Wendover defeated Green River, 47-39, in the opening round. Milford and Green River will meet at 10 a.m. in the consolation bracket.
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.