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2A girls basketball championship: Delta holds off North Sevier for second-straight title

By Dominic Garcia

Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 27 2016 6:25 p.m. MST

RICHFIELD — The last time Delta and North Sevier met, it was at the beginning of the season. The Rabbits got the better of the Wolves then, this time they made history.

Delta defeated North Sevier 55-42 to earn its second state championship in two years. The Wolves started out with a lead thanks to some aggressive play from junior Peyton Torgerson. Torgerson had an uncharacteristically poor game in the semifinals. Despite the poor performance, Torgerson hit a pair of free throws at the end of the semifinal to send her team to the final. In the final, she started off strong and gave her team a four-point lead in the first quarter. Torgerson finished the first half with 12 points off five shots.

“She’s such a good player,” Rabbits head coach Kurtis Topham said. “You’re not going to hold her scoreless. We’re just trying to do the best that we can to make it hard for her. She’s a good player. Bottom line, she is one of the best in the state.”

Both sides came out hot offensively in the second quarter and scored a combined 34 points in the quarter. Delta senior Kylee Wardle hit a 3-pointer with less than two minutes in to cut North Sevier’s lead to two. The Rabbits were led by senior Sidney Springer, who racked up 15 points in the first half.

Springer has been a high scorer for the team throughout the tournament. Springer’s rebounding has been crucial for Delta’s second-chance points. Along with her rebounding and scoring inside, Springer has the ability to step out and hit shots from beyond the arch.

“Sidney played fantastic,” Topham said. “First half she was the only one attacking. We had to have someone.”

At the start of the second half, the Wolves led by two points. That was soon diminished by the Rabbits when they took the lead a little over two minutes into the third quarter. Delta continued to pull down offensive rebounds and score second-chance points. Senior Harlee Willoughby managed to find a lane and score off the chances and extend the Rabbits' lead slightly.

“(Offensive-rebounds) are important, it gives you momentum going,” Springer said.

Delta was able to extend its lead even more when Wardle knocked down another 3-pointer in the third quarter. She added a final 2-point shot in the dying seconds of the quarter to give the Rabbits an 11-point lead going into the fourth.

“Kylee is incredible,” Springer said. “Whenever we need her she’s there. Every time she shoots the ball we know it’s going in. She worked so hard all four years, she deserves it.”

North Sevier only managed to score four points in the third quarter and needed a big fourth quarter to pull off an upset. The Wolves were not able to stop the momentum of the Delta offense. The win gave the Rabbits back-to-back 2A state championships. The three Delta seniors finished with a combined 49 points, Springer with 16, Wardle had 11 and Willoughby finished with 22 in the win.

“I’m so proud of them, they earned it; 25-1, that’s a pretty good season to cap it off that way,” Topham said. “Our girls battled and battled. Kudos to North Sevier, they’ve got a fantastic program, all juniors, so they’ll be back.”