TAYLORSVILLE — The Alta Hawks gave new mom Kristi Jensen a very unique baby gift.
And then she almost had to return it.
"They dedicated the game to me," said Jensen after Alta defeated Davis 67-55 in the first round of the 5A state playoffs. Jensen coached the girls in their last region game on Thursday night and found themselves trailing Cottonwood by 26 points. The Hawks came back for the win, but the experience left Jensen with dangerously high blood pressure.
"I had a doctor's appointment the next day," she said laughing. And the doctor decided conditions were too hostile for the coach's second child, Seth, who was delivered by C-section on Friday.
Jensen returned to practice on Monday and on Tuesday, the girls showed up with baby blue shoelaces and announced this one was for her.
Then the Hawks went out and struggled in the first half of their game against Davis, even dribbling into traps — repeatedly.
"After that first half, I said, 'If this is dedicated to me then I'm embarrassed'," Jensen said tongue-in-cheek. "No, it was really sweet of them to do it."
The team's lone player with playoff experience is reigning-MVP Makenzi Morrison, who finished with 23 points.
She said she talked to her teammates at halftime and reminded them that they knew how to do the things that were causing them trouble.
"It feels really good," said Morrison of getting that first win with a young team. "There's been a lot of energy and we were eager to play. The win just feeds that appetite."
One huge bright spot was sophomore guard Chloe Ferre. Coaches have been encouraging her to shoot the ball more, and in fact, she might not have continued to earn varsity minutes had she not been such a solid rebounder all season.Comment on this story
"That's probably what kept her playing when she was struggling (offensively)," said Jensen.
Ferre had no struggles Tuesday as she finished with a team-high 24 points.
"Chloe did such a great job," said Morrison. "It was nice she chose tonight to do that. If she can keep doing that it will really help our team out. It will open the floor even more for our team. It will create a lot more options."