OREM Last time was no fluke.
The Timpanogos girls' basketball team set out to prove that when it defeated Lone Peak the first time around in Region 4 hoops, it wasn't just because it got lucky.
This time the Timberwolves won on their home court, 61-54, and it was a totally different game than the first.
"We knew we weren't going to come out in the first quarter with a big lead again. We knew it was going to be a battle, and whoever came through at the end would win. It feels good to know that we can do that," said Timpanogos coach Liz Darger, who noted that this is the first time she's coached the T-Wolves (9-8, 4-2) to a sweep of the Knights.
The two teams fought through nine ties and six lead changes before Timpanogos finally took control. Lone Peak's biggest lead of the game was four points, and neither team led by more than four until the T-Wolves took charge late. And they did it behind a girl that didn't exactly have a stellar first half.
Morgan Bailey scored two points in the first quarter, missed two free throws, picked up one rebound and basically disappeared even though she was on the court most of the time.
But a halftime talk with the sophomore sent her into second-half heroics.
"I got in her face at the half. I just called her out, told her 'I need you.' She nodded her head and came out here, by golly, and played," said Darger, who noted Bailey's 16 second-half points, which led to her game-high 18.
The sophomore also picked up 10 rebounds in the game, extended her shooting range to just inside the 3-point arc, and hit a pair of free throws.
"Maybe I just need to get in her face more often," Darger said.
It wasn't just Bailey that clamped down in the second half. Amy Weitzeil came out with six blocked shots and 12 points. Morgan Freestone, who didn't score in the first half, finished with seven points.
Noelle Sanders finished with 16 points and her 3-pointer at the beginning of the fourth quarter to cut the Lone Peak lead to 39-38. The T-Wolves outscored the Knights 26-17 in eight minutes.
Darger points to rebounding and defense as the keys, noting that the Knights pulled down 16 offensive rebounds in the first half, and that the T-Wolves are always outrebounded in their losses.
But Timpanogos did what she asked at the half and boxed out, grabbing more rebounds along the way. They also went to an intense man-to-man defense in the fourth quarter, giving the Knights nightmares about holding onto the ball.Amanda Farish did finish with 16 for Lone Peak, Marquelle Funk added 10, and Ryan Littlefield put in eight.
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