Taylorsville • The Alta girls’ basketball team wore baby blue shoelaces for their coach, and dedicated their first-round playoff game to Kristi Jensen and her new son.
Jensen was moved, but she was happier that her defending champion Hawks survived a 67-55 sparring match with Davis in the Class 5A tournament Tuesday at Salt Lake Community College.
“It took us a while to figure out what to do against their press,” she said. “We were dribbling into corners, which is what they wanted us to do. But after we talked about it at halftime, we got through it.”
The Darts pressured Alta for most of the game, even pulling to within two points of the lead in the second quarter. But the Hawks, a No. 1 seed out of Region 3, showed some of the form that made them state champions last season and pulled away.
Senior guard Makenzi Morrison lived up to her reputation as one of the state’s top scorers, slashing her way to 23 points, including 16 in the second half. But sophomore Chloe Ferre outdid her teammate, scoring 24 points with six 3-pointers.
Jensen and her teammates have been urging Ferre to take more outside shots, and she showed why Alta has been banking on her potential.
“Chloe did a great job shooting the ball,” Morrison said. “It really helps our team out and opens up the floor.”
The Darts thrived in transition offense early by forcing turnovers. Jessica Richardson led with 17 points, and Courtney Hurst and Katelyn Mager each had 11.
But ultimately, the Hawks got some stops in the third quarter and Davis couldn’t. In particular, the Darts lost track of Ferre on the perimeter as she unloaded four of her 3-point shots in the second half.
In Jensen’s first game back since giving birth last week, she started to see bits and traces of the same character of last year’s title-winner.
“They’re starting to get the little things are what will get them there,” Jensen said. “That’s what the other team always got, and we’ve struggled with it this year. But I think they’re starting to get it.”
Alta survives Davis
• Chloe Ferre leads Alta in scoring with 24 points, including six 3-pointers.
• Three score in double figures for Davis, but Darts can’t get key stops.