We have to be vigilant and take care of business because anything can happen. That's what makes the state tournament so great. —Salem Hills coach Kyle Francom
OREM — On a day of upsets, Salem Hills was sure to take care of its business, and defeated Cedar City 58-48 in the quarterfinal round of the 4A playoffs on Thursday.
Skyhawks' coach Kyle Francom observed what happened to one of the two tournament favorites Mountain View right before his team took the floor, and made certain his team was well aware of what can happen to most anyone come tournament time.
"We talked about it with the girls before the game — that you can't take anything for granted," Francom said. "We have to be vigilant and take care of business because anything can happen. That's what makes the state tournament so great."
The Skyhawks entered the tournament as the favorite team, in most experts' evaluation, yet sure enough, Cedar came out battling, and only trailed 25-23 at the half. From there Salem made some adjustments and controlled the play for most of the third quarter — establishing a 42-32 lead entering the game's final eight minutes.
The two teams played on even terms throughout the fourth quarter, with Salem able to hang on for the win and a trip to the state semifinal round.
Leading the way for the Skyhawks was Lauren Gustin, who scored a game-high 32 points on 10-15 shooting from the field and 11-15 shooting from the foul line. She also pulled down 14 rebounds, collected three steals and otherwise dominated in every facet of the game.
"She's just a competitor," Francom said. "Whatever she has to do to win, she's willing to do it."
Dixie Lainhart added nine points for Salem, with Kaylee Brimhall and Brooke Vance each adding six. Cedar was led by Carley Davis, and her team-high 13 points, with Logann Laws and Dream Weaver adding 11 and 10, respectively.
With the win, Salem Hills advances to take on the winner of Logan versus Spanish Fork, where it will again be heavy favorites.