Hillcrest High Coach Jeannie Wilson should send a thank-you note to sports commentator Al McGuire for his assistance in her team's 47-43 victory over Layton in first-round action of the 4-A girls' state basketball tournament Tuesday at Murray High.
That's because it may have been one of McGuire's suggestions, aired during a televised collegiate basketball game that saved the day for the Huskies. Or at least helped Nikki Eyre hit some key free throws to seal the victory.With 1:14 left in the fourth quarter Hillcrest hung onto a 43-41 lead. A Lancer foul sent Eyre to the charity stripe. A timeout was called by Layton in an effort to freeze the senior guard, who had hit all four of her previous foul shots. Wilson immediately implemented a new "trick" learned from the former college coach, McGuire. An assistant coach played catch with Eyre on the sidelines, keeping her hands active and her mind blank. Wilson's plan worked as Eyre canned the two free throws, putting the upset out of reach for Layton.
"I just thought `it's going down'," said Eyre. "I really didn't have time to think about them. I didn't think I had a very good game, I didn't play smart and I tried to force things so I'm glad I hit those."
"Everyone really pulled through. (Erika) Nebeker came off the bench and added something. (Cindy) Ruttenbur didn't start well but she really played a great second half. And of course Nikki pulled through," Wilson said.
Eyre led all scorers with 21 points, including a six for six performance from the free throw line. Tamina Linstrom added nine and Nebeker contributed six points in the victory. Layton was led by Schofield with 16 points. Samantha Hatch added 10 points.
Taylorsville 59, West Jordan 39: Natalie Williams and company rolled into the tournament with only one thing in mind : avenge their final game loss from last year. West Jordan was the unlucky victim standing in their way. Williams, the 6-foot-3 senior sensation, and teammate Wendy Taylor led Taylorsville through first round action with ease. Williams scored 25 points while Taylor added 22.
But it was the play of sophomore Jill Chapman and junior Jackie Brewer that pleased, and surprised Coach John Lambourne.
"We've made a lot of improvement. We had to replace two key girls from last year. That's why Brewer and Chapman are so important. Their defense opened it up for us," he said.
Senior Michelle Rowley led West Jordan with 13 points.
Roy 63, Bingham 50: Bolstered by a 16-0 run late in the third quarter Roy moved ahead of Bingham to advance to the quarterfinals where they will meet Taylorsville. With the score knotted at 40-40, the Royals went on a rampage behind the scoring of Kris Merrill, Debbie Hadley and Carrie Claxton to take the lead for good. Merrill led the Royals with 17 points, Hadley had 16 and Claxton added 14 in the victory. Bingham was led by sophomore Debbie Dimond with 24 points.
Bountiful 46, Kearns 37: Bountiful's Stephanie Reading dominated the game on both ends, rebounding and scoring at will in leading the Braves over Kearns and into quarter-final action. The senior led all scorers with 20 points while her teammate Jessica Olson chipped in 10. Top scorer for Kearns was Brenda Harding with 12. Susana Tauteoli added 10.
Quarterfinal action begins Wednesday in the 4-A tournament with Woods Cross meeting Clearfield and Viewmont going against Weber. The 3-A tournament opens up Wednsday at East High. Games begin at 10 a.m. and continuing throughout the day.