4A girls' basketball: At the end, Springville still perfect
Taylorsville •Â As the clock hit zeroes, they surged toward each other on the court, their fingers to the sky. They screamed and jumped. They were overcome with joy.
They were perfect.
The Springville Red Devils took to the hardwood 24 times this season. They walked away winners each time. They left Bruin Arena with the Class 4A state championship trophy in tote Saturday.
"It being my senior year, it's the best way to end it," said forward Malia Nawahine, who led the Devils with 18 points in the 54-40 victory over Timpview.
The two teams met twice in the regular season, with one game going into overtime and the second decided by a single point. Their third meeting of the season showcased the intensity of two fierce region rivals.
Springville's Ashli Averett drained a pair of first-quarter treys.
Timpview's Lauryn Dela Cruz got her hands into the passing lane for three first-quarter steals to go with six points.
Nawahine took control at the end of the first quarter. The senior star ripped away a sure Timpview rebound and scored the put-back to start a run of eight straight points to give her team an 11-point lead.
But Timpview showed earlier in the tournament it had a flair for comebacks. The Thunderbirds clawed back and hit a buzzer-beater against Orem in the quarterfinals. In the semis, the T-birds came from behind to down Sky View.
Once again, it was Lyndie Haddock leading the charge in the championship tilt.
The sophomore scored seven straight points then assisted on another basket to bring her team to within three points heading into the locker room.
The third quarter, and eventually the game, would belong to the Devils.
Springville point guard Savannah Park jump started her team with a pair of steals that led to fastbreak points early in the third period. Park finished with 12 points.
"Our offense starts with our defense," the junior said as she rolled a piece of the championship net through her fingers.
The Devils held Timpview to just four second-half field goals on 23.5 percent shooting. The T-Bird magic that had brought them to the championship game ran out.
"Obviously it's a heart break," Timpview coach Casey Cooke said. "It just doesn't go your way some times."
Cooke sat Haddock and Dela Cruz for much of the period because of foul trouble.
"We obviously needed them out there," Cooke said. "Their absence hurt us."
Springville center Brooke Wheeler scored 10 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked four shots.
"We came into the day saying, 'Let's finish this,'" Wheeler said.