TAYLORSVILLE — The Mountain Crest Mustangs were passing the ball so well, coach Candace Thornton wondered if anyone actually wanted to score.

"I joked with them (in the third quarter) that they were all trying to get the assist record," she said smiling after the Mustangs defeated Hillcrest 60-35 in the first round of the 4A state basketball tournament at Salt Lake Community College. "Nobody would shoot the ball."

Thornton asked them to speed it up and make something happen. And while senior Karlee Kartchner, who just happens to be the state's leading scorer, led the team offensively with 22 points, it was the way the team worked together that really made Thornton proud.

"Just the way they played together," she said. "We assumed they'd be focused on Karlee early and they were."

It was the other players that started to dismantle the Husky defense.

The Mustangs jumped out to a 15-5 lead in the first quarter and they never relinquished any ground despite a solid effort by Hillcrest.

"Our goal is always to come out quick," said Thornton. "When we have a big first quarter lead, we almost always win. It gets the girls excited; it gets them moving."

Thornton said it's "crucial" that the Mustangs continue to keep as many players as possible involved in the offense.

Emily Moore played well for the Mustangs with 14 points, while Katie Walllentine and McKenzie Anderson each added seven points in the win.

Whitney Nemelka and Robyn Oliphant led the Huskies with nine points each.

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