That’s the pace we want. We want to go up and down. We play a lot of girls and like that pace. I think (Roy) started to wear down a bit. —Timpanogos coach Kawika Akina
TAYLORSVILLE — Settle down. Push the pace. And never give up.
It was a winning formula for Timpanogos in a 72-65 win over Roy in the first round of the 4A state playoffs at Salt Lake Community College Monday.
A furious pace, during the end of the second quarter and throughout the third, provided a big chunk of the difference in the final outcome.
“That’s the pace we want. We want to go up and down,” said Timpanogos coach Kawika Akina. “We play a lot of girls and like that pace. I think (Roy) started to wear down a bit.”
A 13-3 run by the Timberwolves to end the first half tied the game at 32-32 and culminated into a 28-point third quarter to build a 60-50 lead entering the fourth.
Roy managed to cut the lead to five with just under two minutes remaining, but no closer as Timpanogos cruised to the second round.
While Akina’s team finished strong and on pace, the first few minutes of the contest told a different story.
First-round jitters led to some sloppy play and a 29-19 Roy lead with just more than three minutes remaining until the half.
“We’ve been having really bad starts lately and letting teams get up. But we never give up,” Akina said. “Once we settled it down a bit we were able to make some plays and get some stops with our pressure defense.”
Senior center Eternity Galeai led the run to close the second with seven of her game-high 24 points scored in the quarter’s final three minutes. From there, senior guard Jamaica Christensen led the charge — scoring 10 of her 17 points during the third.
“Once those two get going it’s huge for us,” Akina said.
“They’re good,” Akina said. “They can score and they have some girls that can really go and shoot it. So they made it tough for us.”
With the win, Timpanogos advances to the second round where it will take on Bountiful.