OGDEN — With the way North Summit controlled the game in its wire-to-wire 2A quarterfinal win over Millard on Thursday, it’s easy to see why the Braves are the tournament favorite this week at Weber State.
With Ute commit Kennady McQueen pulling the strings offensively and leading the charge defensively, the Braves rolled to the 64-53 win over defending state champ Millard, leading by as many as 24 points in the fourth quarter.
McQueen narrowly missed out on her second career triple-double, finishing with 22 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, but North Summit coach Jerre Holmes was equally as pleased with her effort at both ends of the court.
“I know everybody gets caught up in the flash of her on the offensive end, but she’s equally as good on defense, she really is,” said Holmes.
With the game tied 9-9 late in the first quarter, North Summit pushed it to 16-9 by the end of the first quarter and then 31-19 at the half. It continued to swell throughout the second half as North Summit finished the game shooting 46 percent from the field.
The first half is when North Summit set the tone, and McQueen’s assertiveness was the key as she had seven first-half assists.
“Kennady knows we can’t win this with just her, she knows she’s got to have her teammates, that’s why you see her get a lot of assists. Kennady is special, we know that, but those others are great role players and they do contribute,” said Holmes.
Those role players filled up the stat sheet just as much. Gracie Watterson added 13 points and nine rebounds for North Summit, with Brecklyn Murdock and Hadley Richins each adding 11 points.
Rylee Miller and Megan Wade each scored 16 points in the loss for Millard, which cut the deficit to seven points on two different occasions in the third quarter.
Millard responded with a late run to stretch the lead to 52-36 by the end of the quarter as Hadley Richins drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
After the game North Summit hopped on a bus and drove the 45 minutes back up I-84 to Coalville, a luxury Holmes said can’t be overstated.Comment on this story
“It was a strange day because of all the years I’ve been coaching …. I’ve never gone to a state tournament where I wasn’t staying overnight in a motel,” said Holmes, who said he’s been pretty vocal with the UHSAA through the years to get the state tournament moved to a Northern Utah site. “We finally got it up here.”
The 2A tournament is traditionally at either Richfield or Cedar City.
“I’m just happy for our people that they can come and watch us play and then go home and then come back the next day,” said Holmes.
The size of the caravan coming down from Coalville figures to be a bit larger for its Friday semifinal at 4:10 p.m.