Since we started region play, she’s been awesome. I can’t ask her for more, and for a girl to do so much offensively, and then defensively for us — we put her on their best girl. —Hurricane coach Franci Homer, on Jayden Langford
OREM — Upsets are a part of almost every state tournament, and Hurricane pulled a big one on Thursday — upsetting No. 1 seed Mountain View 53-44 in the quarterfinal round. The Tigers broke late, after leading by a slim margin for most of the game, with their coach Franci Homer, and her players, nothing short of ecstatic by the result.
Homer greeted the media extolling the positive energy it took from the entire team to pull such an upset over a team that was ranked No. 2 in the 4A classification and No. 5 statewide. She talked candidly about her team, and two key instances in the game where she implored one her players to take a shot, and then almost pulled her hair out over a late shot by her daughter, Hailey Homer, which thankfully was converted.
“It went in! I was going to kill her, but that was huge,” Franci Homer said of Hailey's shot, which was taken from about 10-feet out, with the Tigers leading 48-44 with just 30 seconds remaining. “She could have had a layup, and she takes that shot. But that is really one of her shots. She loves the baseline, so it was good. But holy sweat.”
Hailey's shot all but ended any comeback hopes for the Bruins, with Hailey adding two final free throws that ended up sealing the win a few seconds later.
Earlier, it was Madi Hirschi hitting a big 3-pointer in response to Mountain View tying things at 39-39 early in the fourth quarter. It was Hirschi's only 3-point bucket of the evening, although Franci Homer strongly encouraged her to take the shot from the sidelines.
“She’s a great shooter, and that’s where she’s scored most of her points all year long,” Franci said of Hirschi, who finished with eight points.
Leading the way for the Tigers was Jayden Langford, who scored a team-high 19 points and dished out six assists. But she also drew the tough defensive assignment of guarding Mountain View's Tahlia White, who ended up scoring 24 points, but Langford made certain all those points where hard-fought throughout.
“Since we started region play, she’s been awesome,” Franci Homer said. “I can’t ask her for more, and for a girl to do so much offensively, and then defensively for us — we put her on their best girl.”
A big key for Hurricane was jumping out to an early lead and then stretching the lead to 29-24 at the half. Mountain View made runs throughout the second half, but a big 16-5 run to close out the game loomed large and ultimately secured the upset.
With the win, Hurricane advances to the semifinal round, where it will take on Lehi on Friday.