PROVO This game had it all. From a blowout to a huge comeback to a last-second game winner, nothing was missing as the Timpanogos Timberwolves took on the Timpview Thunderbirds. Eventually 4A No. 1 Timpview won the game 59-57 but not without making things exciting along the way.
So the T-Birds held a 17-point lead at halftime and a 16-point lead at the end of the third quarter. The T-Wolves weren't about to give up. The impossible can't happen if you don't give it your all. And Timpanogos proved it had plenty of heart in this one despite giving up the game winner with 1.4 seconds left.
"I'm so proud of the girls. I thought this took a lot of heart for them to come back like that," said Timpanogos coach Liz Darger, who noted that her team's had a tough time warming up in the first half this year. She also said the change of defense from a zone to man made a big difference.
"I think when they go man, they get more intense," she added.
And they did get more intense, cutting the lead to seven several times before Morgan Freestone finally layed one in to make it 56-51. MaryAnne Morrow managed to hit 1-of-2 from the line to give her team a six-point advantage with 31 seconds left, but that was when things really got exciting.
Timpanogos' Amanda Larsen put up a beautiful trey to cut the lead to three, then just seconds later stole the ball, handed it to Megan Bishop and watched her teammate drain a second one with just over 10 seconds remaining.
The T-Birds called a timeout with eight seconds left and the game knotted at 57.
Point guard Kellie Woodfield took the ball the length of the court, driving past Timpanogos defenders, eventually laying it up and praying it went in. It did with 1.4 seconds left, and the T-Birds breathed a sigh of relief.
"I've always dreamed of making a last-second shot, but all I was thinking was that I just wanted to get the shot up and maybe get fouled or something," said Woodfield. Taking a little pressure off was the fact that she was also thinking that the worst that could happen was overtime.
That she hit the game-winner "didn't sink in until people started running toward me," said Woodfield, who also noted that her team shouldn't have let Timpanogos back in it in the first place.
"We thought they'd double her, but she picked one side, and no one helped at all. She beat her man," said Timpview coach Kawika Akina, who noted that the play had gone almost exactly as had been drawn up.
He was a little upset with his team's turnovers and carelessness with the ball in the fourth quarter, though he noted they showed spurts of what they work on in practice.
The T-Birds led 11-8 after the first as neither team did much offensively. But the second quarter belonged to Timpview as they opened things up from the outside, draining three of their four treys in the second stanza while holding Timpanogos to only three second quarter points.
But the T-Wolves made up for the lackluster first three periods by scoring a barnburning 34 in the fourth. Timpview added a solid 20 of their own but it's tough to hang onto a lead when giving up 34 points in eight minutes.
Timpview post presence Alexis Kaufusi finished with 14 points, while Gabrielle Pinegar scored a game-high 16.The T-Wolves finished with four players in double figures as Noelle Sanders and Morgan Bailey each put up 12 and Larsen and Amy Weitzeil finished with 11 each.