PROVO Springville's surprising undefeated rampage through Region 7 competition ended as the Timpview T-Birds came out of a slugfest with a 42-39 victory and sole possession of first place in the league.
Both teams walked onto the court with 5-0 region records, and Timpview eked out the victory for a 6-0 mark in region at the halfway point of the regular season. The T-Birds can now say they've beaten every team in their league and are now looking forward to trying to do it again in the second half.
The Red Devils came out 5-1 with plenty of hopes of gaining revenge when the T-Birds visit their gym. But this game very well could have turned out differently with only a few bounces and free throws dropping the other way.
With just seconds left in the contest and the T-Birds ahead by three, the Red Devils managed to get open for a solid 3-point attempt. And it gave both teams some pause as it bounced twice before falling out. Springville's Ashley Kroneberger fought hard and grabbed the rebound, then trying for the put back, missed and was fouled with 0.3 seconds left on the clock.
"It wouldn't have surprised me (if the 3-pointer had dropped). I told them no open threes, and she had a nice look. We're just lucky it bounced our way," said Timpview coach Kawika Akina.
After missing her first free throw the Red Devils had to concede the game was over, but it wasn't just the missed trey and Kroneberger's miss from the stripe that led to Springville's demise.
The Red Devils old Achilles heel reared its ugly head as they only shot 6-20 from the line in the game, going 0-8 in the second half.
The first half couldn't have been much tighter as the two teams fought through two ties and 10 lead changes with the Red Devils coming out on top with a 22-21 half-time lead.
Kroneberger, the leading scorer in all of 4A with a 19.62 points per game average, came out of the first half with nine points, but only managed a pair in the second half and 11 total in the game.
"We wanted to stop Ashley Kroneberger. We reached almost all of our goals in the game," said Akina, who noted that his team wanted to hold the Red Devils under 30, outrebound their foes, hold the turnovers down and not allow Kroneberger to get into double digits.
With only 14 turnovers and a supreme height advantage, they managed to achieve three goals, and came close on the fourth. And they're plenty happy with the result.
"We have sole possession of first place. Our goal is to win region, and we're a step closer to winning region," Akina said.
Other than Springville's free-throw problem, the T-Birds took advantage of their height in the low post, out dueling the Red Devils' inside players with Alexis Kaufusi coming away with 13 points and Chelsea Bridgewater finishing with nine. Gabrielle Pinegar led the way from the perimeter with 10, and Adaiza Greenhalgh drained a pair of treys, one from several feet behind the arc.
Holli Averett is making her way back from a concussion for the Red Devils and scored nine points along the way putting in two buckets on a pair of fast breaks late in the contest to tighten things up considerably.Genna Brown hit two treys and scored eight.
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