It's championship day for the 5A and 4A girls basketball tournaments, and you can insert your own "big-game" cliche here.
A new 4A champion will be crowned first, as Timpview and Lone Peak meet at high noon, followed by Mountain View and Bingham in the 5A final at 2:30 p.m. Both games will be played at Salt Lake Community College's Redwood Road campus.The 4A final showcases a pair of Region 6 rivals in the second-ranked Thunderbirds and the third-ranked Knights.
Timpview, which last won the title in 1995, is on a huge high after its double-overtime, semifinal victory over top-ranked and defending state champ Olympus on Thursday.
Lone Peak, a first-year program, struggled in its semifinal against Murray but pulled out the victory, setting up a third meeting between the two teams. Timpview won both previous games, but not in easy fashion.
"They know us and we know them," said Timpview coach Barbara Dickson, who feels an extra day of practice before the final will help her team focus better. "It's going to be very tough."
The 5A title game pits the two best teams in the state in the top-ranked Bruins and the second-ranked Miners. This is the game girls basketball enthusiasts have been waiting to see happen all year long.
Combined, the two schools have won the title in the state's largest classification for the last eight years.
Mountain View is seeking its third-straight championship and hasn't lost to a team from Utah in three years. The last time the Bruins dropped a game was to Bingham in the 1995 tournament.
The Miners finished the season undefeated and with their pressing, trapping style of defense, hope to give the taller Bruins fits.
Bingham coach Rand Rasmussen publicly admits his team doesn't stand a chance but will not run away from the fight.
"The only guarantee I can give you is we won't forfeit," he said.
In Friday's tourney action:
5A THIRD-PLACE GAME
SKYLINE 56, OREM 49: The Eagles overcame a sluggish start to top the Tigers as Sally Johnson poured in 23 points. Skyline trailed 18-7 in the first quarter before changing to a full-court press defense and turning the game around.
"We needed to change the momentum. We didn't need to be down by 20," said Skyline head coach Deb Bennett.
The Eagles then held Orem scoreless over the next eight minutes and eventually took the lead for good in the third quarter, despite some shaky fourth-quarter free-throw shooting.
5A FIFTH-PLACE GAME
LAYTON 48, WEST JORDAN 37: The Lancers jumped out to a big early lead and then hung on in the fourth quarter to top the Jaguars. Kim Morrill scored 10 points for Layton, including seven of the Lancers' last nine points. Amy Voss topped Layton with 16, while Stacy Jensen had 21 for West Jordan.
4A FIFTH-PLACE GAME
LOGAN 66, BOUNTIFUL 35: Tonya Smart scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the second half, and the Grizzlies used a big third quarter to run away from the Braves. Erin Wilson added 15 points for Logan, while Hailey MacKay had 10 to top Bountiful.