RICHFIELD — The elation of Richfield’s 51-27 girls’ basketball quarterfinals win against Carbon was tempered by tragedy Thursday night.
As the Wildcats were walking off the floor, a fellow faculty member put his arm around coach Marc Peterson and told him the news — the mother of one of his players died after a long battle with cancer.
“We played with more energy than we had all year,” Peterson said. “It was like we had an extra player out there helping us.”
Annicka Albrecht had been fighting a battle with cancer during the past year.
Her daughter, sophomore Jacee Albrecht, played an important role in Thursday’s game against the Dinos — hitting three shots from inside the paint to help boost Richfield. She also snagged six rebounds early in the game.
Jacee scored the final bucket of the first half with five seconds on the clock to secure a 32-12 edge.
“She was pumped up and full of energy at halftime,” Peterson said.
Jacee continued to play through the third quarter as the ’Cats continued to outpace Carbon. However, with less than a minute to go in the stanza, she fell near midcourt and had to be carried off the pine.
“We are still waiting to hear how bad her injury is,” Peterson said. “Our school and community’s thoughts are with her tonight.”
Alexa Lord led Richfield’s offense with 23 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. She also pulled down five boards and had three steals.
Jarica Steck posted eight points in the game, sinking a pair of downtowners, while Sipola Vakautakakala posted six. Amanda Oldroyd and Passion Reitz each posted four points in the game. Both were also instrumental defensively.
“We had to contain their point guard, and Passion shut her down,” Peterson said.
Abbie Saccomanno led Carbon’s girls with seven points, followed by Jodi Noyes with six.
When the season started, Richfield was down four starters, and many considered the season to be a rebuilding one. However, Peterson said his girls never thought of it like that.
“To make the final four is a great accomplishment,” Peterson said.1 comment on this story
Next for Richfield is a semifinal game against Region 15 rival South Sevier or Region 13 champion Grantsville.
“Both are good teams and are well-coached,” Peterson said.
After the blow of losing a parent, Peterson said his team is in for a stressful weekend. The next game for Richfield is Friday, Feb. 22, at 4:10 p.m. at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield.
“I told the girls that Annika Albrecht is a competitor and she’ll always want the girls to compete,” Peterson said. “That’s exactly what we’re going to do.”