Some players get first-game jitters in the opening action of the high school state basketball tournament. Not Nicky Wangsgard.
Her 38-point performance, which led Ogden to a 63-50 victory over Springville in Wednesday's first-round contest of the 3A state tournament at East High, was a demonstration of her cool, calm demeanor.
Wangsgard, a 5-foot-10 junior, who is touted as the player in the 3A ranks stepped in, did her job calmly and quietly to lead the Tigers to a win over a feisty Springville team. But she's been there before. Named MVP last year, she was one reason the Tigers won the 3A state crown. She may be the key to Ogden retaining that championship.
Ogden Coach Phil Russell was happy with his team's win but concerned with the lack of scoring balance.
"It was really good, but Nicky scored too many points. I would like to have more even scoring," he explained. "But it's nice to have a player perform well under pressure. She did a great job and handled the ball well."
Ogden didn't take the lead until the second quarter, when the Tigers went up for good, 17-16 on two quick buckets by Wangsgard. From there they widened the margin, kept moving and never looked back.
"They were a good team; we worried about them all week," Russell said of Springville, which entered the tournament at 15-5. "We just have to take each game one at a time."
Carbon 74, Tooele 60: Barbara Skaggs moved Carbon into the quarterfinals, scoring 21 points in the Dinos' victory. Tooele was led by sophomore Marianne Poloskey with 15 points.
Provo 51, Sky View 39: Provo, behind the play of Angie Hardy and Amy Boone, jumped out to an early lead and kept going to easily move past Sky View. Boone scored 12 points while Hardy added 11. Leading scorer for Sky View was Kim Balls with 13.
Pleasant Grove 70, West 58: Placing four players in double figures, Pleasant Grove downed Region Six champion West to move into the quarterfinals. Lisa Hall scored 17 points, including four three-pointers; Tracie Williamson had 13, Joy Warner added 12 and Heather Johnson chipped in 12 points in the victory. Jennifer Doane was top scorer for the Panthers with 26 points, which included three 3-pointers and a 9-for-13 performance from the free throw line.
Timpview 66, Ben Lomond 46: Timpview, runner-up in last year's tournament, moved one step closer to returning to the final game with an easy victory.Freshman Angie Ross hit five three-point shots in a 20-point showing to lead her team into the quarterfinals. Jocelyn Kearl added 16 points. Betty Bingham led all Ben Lomond scorers with 13 points.
Granite 50, Dixie 40: After suffering a dismal first quarter, in which they only scored four points, the Lady Farmers rallied back behind the scoring of Steffani Carpenter and Ngalu Finau to sweep past Dixie. Carpenter punched in 17 points while Finau added 12. Tina MacArthur was top scorer for Dixie with eight points.
Bear River 60, Uintah 26: The Bears had few problems in their opener, sweeping past Uintah with little difficulty. After trailing 11-5 in the first quarter, they held the Utes to only one point in the second period. The third quarter closed the door for Uintah; Bear River rolled out 29 quick points. Bear Wendy Wood led all scorers with 18 points.
Jordan 59, Pine View 58: In the only close game of the tournament, Jordan used a third-quarter run to squeak past Pine View. The Beet Diggers, after trailing 33-30 at intermission, outscored Pine View 20-13 to move ahead and take the win. Andrea Hendrickson led Jordan with 18 points. Nikki Shaheen was top scorer for Pine View with 17.