Prep girls’ basketball: Skyline beats Roy in 4A playoff opener
Prep girls’ basketball • Center’s career-high 35 points power Eagles to second round.
Published: February 21, 2012 07:27AM
Updated: February 21, 2012 12:02AM

Taylorsville • Miquelle Askew keeps hearing she needs to be “more of a beast.” The Skyline center’s latest game should put opponents on notice: She’s gotten the message.

Askew dominated in the Eagles’ first-round playoff match against Roy, scoring a career-high 35 points as Skyline advanced to the second round of the Class 4A state tournament with a 57-45 win. The senior was nearly automatic on offense whenever her team managed to feed her the ball.

“My coach has been awesome — she’s challenged me all year,” Askew said. “Our team played awesome. We’ve really been practicing working the ball around and passing.”

Skyline led the entire game, but was pushed at times by the Royals, who forced a faster tempo and tried to box up the post. But the Eagles were often able to spread the defense with ball movement, making enough space to pass around back to Askew, who started off hot and just kept rolling.

She scored 14 field goals in the game, and went 7-for-11 from the free-throw line. She also had 13 rebounds.

“The plan was to pound it in to her because they didn’t really have a tall player,” coach Deb Bennett said. “A lot of teams have been packing it in against her, so it’s been tough. But she’s definitely come through.”

Askew didn’t perform in a vacuum — she said that her big night was a reflection of her team’s improved play. Ta’a Tuinei provided another strong post presence with seven points and eight rebounds. Ashley Aberton fared well under Roy’s late pressure, and made all four of her free throws in the fourth quarter.

The team also came together defensively to get stops. Jordynn Barrera led Roy’s strong penetration game with 16 points, and Bryce Mitchell added 11. But Skyline held the Royals to an eight-point third quarter, and they couldn’t catch up.

The Eagles were awash with relief after the victory. Bennett lauded her team’s performance, reflecting on how far it had come since a first-round loss in last year’s tournament as a No. 1 seed.

“It meant a lot,” she said. “Last year was a tough time, and these girls have come back time and time again and brushed off challenges. They rise above.”

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon

Skyline pushes past Roy in 4A

• Miquelle Askew racks up 35 points and 13 rebounds for the Eagles

• Jordynn Barrera leads the Royals with 16 points

• Skyline advances to the second round after being upset in the first round last season