Bear River poured in 22 fourth-quarter points to erase a 13-point deficit enroute to a heart-pounding 66-62 win over Timpview for the girls' 3A title.
Senior forward Wendy Wood scored 36 points for the victorious Bears, including 12 in final period.
Bear River was in trouble from the start as Timpview jumped to a 7-0 lead and then used a 14-2 run to take a commanding 21-6 lead after one quarter.
"We were tense and we were forcing things," Wood said of the first quarter debacle. "We just made too many turnovers."
Take nothing away from Timpview. A 1-3-1 half court trap was effective and the Thunderbirds seemed to thrive on the up tempo pace that fit right into their running game. Freshman guard Angie Ross added insult to injury as the 5-foot, 74 pounder buried two 3-pointers from the corner to provide some nice outside shooting balance. Ross canned four treys on her way to a team high 22 points on the night.
The Bears made a mini-surge midway through the second period as Wood began to find the range. Her two free throws at the 4:44 mark cut the margin to 26-18 and it looked like she would narrow it further as she stole the ball and drove for the basket.
A foul from behind threw her off balance and she went hard to the floor, striking the back of her head on the hardwood. Although she walked off on her own power, she had to head to the locker room as substitute Amy Tanner missed the foul pitch.
The Bears were already playing short-handed as early foul trouble kept center Laura Miller on the bench most of the game. During Wood's absence, Timpview mounted an 8-1 run to move out by 15 again at 34-19. Wood re-entered the game and knocked down four quick points but saw them offset by Timpview buckets from Ross and forward Rachael Pope. But Bear River scored the last eight points of the quarter, including six from the foul line to move within seven at 38-31 at the half.
The teams played at break-neck pace for the first four minutes of the third quarter, virtually trading baskets until Ross hit her fourth 3-pointer and Pope added a followup hoop to move the Thurnderbirds out front by 11 at 51-40. Timpview then added the final two baskets of the quarter on a rebound hoop from Pope and a fast break layup from forward Jocyln Kearl to seemingly take control with a 57-44 advantage with one quarter remaining.
The momentum didn't last.
The Thunderbirds abandoned the running game and the creative flow that had served them well through the first three quarters. Timpview tried to spread the floor and run a structured half-court set but a series of bad passes played into Bear River's hands as the Bears went on a 9-0 tear to cut Timpview's lead to four at 57-53. Ross finally got the Thunderbirds back on the board at the 4:14 mark with a pair of free throws.
Wood answered with her second 3-pointer of the quarter to lead an 8-1 run and give the Bears their first lead of the game, 61-60, with 1:40 remaining. Ross responded with a fast-break bucket that started with her knocking the ball away from Wood and then taking a lead pass for the layup and a 62-61 Timpview advantage with 1:10 remaining.
But that would be the end of the scoring for Timpview. Wood hammered in a driving baseline shot to put the Bears up for good at 63-62. Timpview was called for two intentional fouls in the final :04 as Wood and Tanner added three free throws between them to ice the game.
"What a comeback," hollered Bear River coach Farrel Williams over the din of the roaring fans. "Wood's the best one-on-one player in the state and I don't care what anybody says."
Wood refused to take the credit, calling the comeback a team win that came from a lot of heart and hustle by the entire squad. "Everyone just had heart."
In other action, Provo knocked off Ogden 54-52 in another barn-burner for third and fourth place respectively. The game was not decided until center Tiffany Bayles dropped in two free-throws with :05 remaining. Fifth place went to Carbon, which knocked off Jordan (seventh) 40-25 and Springville claimed sixth place with a 56-28 blowout over Dixie, which finished eighth.