TAYLORSVILLE — Little sister set it up and big sister finished it off.
As a result, sisters Savannah and Olivia Park propelled Springville to an improbable 66-60 overtime win against Highland Monday in the first round of the 4A state playoffs. Olivia did her best work in the second half of regulation while Savannah took control of overtime to send the Red Devils into the second round.
Not much had gone right for Springville through three quarters. The team trailed from the outset, seemed uninspired and appeared ready to pack it in and go home, down 38-24 as the third quarter was winding down.
Enter Olivia Park.
The sparingly used sophomore entered the game midway through the third and provided the spark her team needed. Olivia was charged with providing energy on defense, but her biggest contribution came from behind the 3-point arc.
Her first 3-pointer came late in the third to bring Springville to within seven points, 39-32, entering the final period. A couple of 3-pointers midway through the fourth contributed heavily to the Red Devils closing the gap before her last 3-pointer in regulation completely closed it.
Trailing 57-54, and with Springville’s offense stagnant, Olivia let go of a shot several feet behind the 3-point line with 20.9 seconds left that no one on the Springville sideline wanted to see.
“Right when she got the ball it was like telepathy — sister telepathy — that she was going to shoot it,” Savannah said. “I didn’t want her to shoot it, but when it went in I couldn’t have been more excited.”
Indeed Olivia’s ill-advised shot found the bottom of the net to tie it up, 57-57. After a defensive stop on the other end the game headed to overtime.
And Savannah took over.
The senior guard scored the final seven points of overtime to lock up the win. It’s a role she’s well-accustomed to — having led Springville to the 4A state championship a season ago.
“Savannah is a great leader, and ... I can always count on Savannah,” said Springville coach Camie Oakey. “I always know that in the fourth quarter, or in overtime, that the ball needs to be in her hands.”
As for Olivia, she proved Monday she may have the same late-game clutch ability as her older sister.
“It’s been frustrating to her playing behind her sister, but when her number’s called she’s had some big moments,” Oakey said. “She’s proving she’s going to be a force for the next two years.”Comment on this story
It wasn’t all about the Park sisters Monday. The Red Devils had several players step up in a total team effort — namely Lydia Austin and Brooke Wheeler, who finished with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Savannah finished with a team-high 18 and Olivia had 12 on four 3-point buckets.
Springville will face Bonneville in the quarterfinals.