Girls' basketball: Riverton tops Layton to get to semis
Taylorsville • Jamie Smith finished with a clean stat line: six points, 6-for-6 on her free throws.
But box score hardly reflects the circumstances of those points. Riverton's senior guard found herself on the foul line six times in the fourth quarter of a Class 5A quarterfinal game, as her team was see-sawing for the lead with Layton.
Easy? Hardly. But Smith was flawless from the line.
"I haven't been hitting those shots in region," Smith said. "We practiced free throws a lot, we pushed each other and flustered each other in practice so it wouldn't happen in games."
The Silverwolves played a cool fourth quarter to get a 37-31 win over a tough Layton team Thursday afternoon in the state tournament at Salt Lake Community College. Riverton outscored the Lancers 15-6 in the final period and took advantage of their chances on the free throw line to advance to Friday's semifinals to play Weber.
Smith came to the line three times: once to tie the game, once to extend the lead, and once to put the game out of reach. She hit them all.
The Silverwolves trailed most of the game, but its state-leading defense eventually proved tough enough to handle the Lancers. They also got a balanced effort on offense: No player reached double digits, but seven players scored. Morganne Campbell and Whitney Saunders led with eight points apiece.
"We knew we would have some trouble handling their physical play, and that would take its toll," coach Ron Ence said. "[At halftime] we told them, 'Take a deep breath. That's your lifejacket. The team that's more composed at the end is going to win.'"
It didn't seem to be swinging in Riverton's favor at first. Layton held the Silverwolves to 15 first-half points, and the inside combo of Courtnee Wood and Livia Treseder combined to pour in 19 points.
But Riverton stepped up its defensive effort, and the results showed. The Lancers slid from shooting 45 percent from the field in the first half to only 21 percent in the second. The Silverwolves also scored 13 points off turnovers - Layton had 18 in the game.
Cassidy Anderson drilled a 3-pointer in the final minute to close the gap to two points, but some late turnovers particularly hurt the Lancers' comeback efforts. Amber Daly dribbled off her foot, and Anderson was hit with a double dribble. Layton did not score after Anderson's shot.
Wood led the Lancers with 11 points.
Riverton heads to the 5A semis
• No player scores in double digits for the Silverwolves, but seven score
• Whitney Saunders and Morganne Campbell each have eight points apiece
• Courtnee Wood finishes with a game-high 11 points for the Lancers