OREM — The final 2 1/2 minutes were among the longest of Summit Academy coach Matt Mapstone’s life.
Missed free throws, turnovers, and a resilient last-minute effort from Delta conspired to make Summit’s ultimate victory closer than it probably should have been.
And it perhaps added some gray hairs to Mapstone’s head.
“I’m 47 years old, and I feel that I was 27 years old before the last two minutes of that game,” Mapstone said after the Bears did just enough to upset No. 1-seeded Delta, 48-44, in the first round of the 2A state playoffs Friday. “We hung in there, though, and just had enough to get by and I couldn’t be more proud of these girls and what they did today.”
Summit led throughout and found itself up by eight points, 45-37, with just less than three minutes remaining before it almost all unraveled.
Six points from Delta’s Sidney Springer in the game’s final minutes and a bevy of missed free throws by the Bears cut Summit’s lead to just two points, 46-44, with 17.7 seconds remaining.
It was then that Summit got a huge boost from an unlikely source.
Following a timeout, seldom-used junior guard Shania King caught an inbounds pass streaking down the court and was fouled before she could convert a layup ahead of the defense.
She missed the first foul shot and Delta called a timeout to add even more pressure.
“She was down and a bit discouraged about missing that first free throw in the timeout,” Mapstone related. “I told her to calm down and that we believed in her.”
With her coach and team’s confidence behind her, King sank the second attempt for her lone point of the game.
“She had ice water in her veins and that was obviously huge for us,” Mapstone said.
The foul shot put Summit up 47-44 — forcing Delta to attempt a 3-pointer to send it to overtime. A top-of-the-key attempt from the Rabbits bricked and sophomore Marissa Hathaway grabbed the rebound and was fouled with just 1.7 seconds remaining.
She then sank one of two free throws to put the game completely out of reach.
“This wasn’t an easy win, but we got it,” Mapstone said. “We did just enough and really got off to some big leads early to make (Delta) play from behind, which I thought was the only way we could win this.”
Leading the way for Summit was sophomore guard Olivia Mooney, who scored a game-high 18 points.
“That’s a tough little sophomore right there,” Mapstone said. “When she’s on we just let her go. We designed a lot of stuff for her today and she came through just about every time.”
With the win Summit advances to the second round, where it will take on North Summit.