Snow Canyon’s 61-57 victory over Judge Memorial in the first round of the girls’ Class 3A state tournament was every bit the heavyweight bout it was expected to be.
And the defending state champion Warriors had the scars to prove it.
Grace Walton left the game after a fall to the floor opened a bloody cut above her left eye and teammate Kaylee Brooks went to the bench in the final minute with a bloody nose suffered in a scramble for the ball.
But the visiting Warriors kept their composure and made their free throws to hold off the feisty Bulldogs.
“It’s been a while since we’ve gone on the road in the first round,” said guard Amy Harris, who scored 11 points. “We didn’t know what to expect, and it was a totally different atmosphere. But it was fun to play in.”
Snow Canyon advanced to meet Delta in Thursday’s quarterfinals round at Weber State. The Warriors (16-6) won the game at the free-throw line — they made 11 of 12 attempts in the fourth quarter, including the game’s final four points by Brooks and Lauren Smith after the teams were tied with 1:04 to play.
“We work on free throws all the time in practice,” Harris said. “That’s something we know that if it comes down to it, we can make them.”
With Harris, the team’s leading scorer during the regular season, struggling from the field, the Warriors relied on Megan Leavitt. The senior forward scored 12 of her game-high 21 points in the third quarter.
“We didn’t force it and wanted to play smart,” Leavitt said. “We looked inside more.”
Judge, which trailed twice by as much as five points, made one final push in the game’s final four minutes. Kailie Quinn hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Emily Smith made four free throws to tie the game at 57. But the Bulldogs (15-7) struggled from the free-throw line. They made just six of their final 12 attempts, and missed 10 free throws on the night.
Smith scored 20 points and Quinn had 17 for Judge.
Snow Canyon 61, Judge 57
R Snow Canyon makes 11 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
• The Warriors will face Delta in the quarterfinals.