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Prep girls’ basketball: Skyline beats Sky View in 4A playoff opener

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Mia Mortensen (10), Skyline steals the ball from Lindsey Jensen (11), Sky View, in prep girls state basketball action, Skyline vs. Sky View, Monday, February 24, 2014.

By bubba brown

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Feb 24 2014 11:31PM
Updated Feb 24, 2014 11:31PM

The Sky View girls’ basketball team’s shots weren’t falling. They clanked off the rim, or the backboard, or sometimes didn’t touch anything at all. Skyline’s confidence mounted as the Bobcats’ frustration visibly grew.

The swagger was back.

That much was evident as the No. 3 seed Eagles used a run late in the first half to steal momentum and beat the second-seeded Bobcats, 56-47, in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament Monday.

"When we started to get momentum, it seemed like they couldn’t make anything," said Eagles’ star post Sydnee Taylor. "We kept beating down on them."

The Eagles beat down on most of their opponents throughout the early part of the season. But a rash of injuries cost them a shot at the Region 7 title and dropped them to a No. 3 seed in the state tournament.

Then the Eagles drew a first-round matchup against talented Sky View, which lost just once in Region 5. But Skyline used an earlier matchup with the Bobcats — a 63-55 season-opening win — to gain the upper hand.

What the Eagles had learned in the first matchup began paying dividends late in the first half Monday, when a quick burst carved out a halftime lead. The second half belonged to the Eagles and their lock-down defense.

"We just stepped up on defense," Taylor said. "At first we didn’t come out that well on defense, but then we did step it up and they started to miss shots. We closed out really well on their shooters."

The Eagles now advance to the second round of the tournament, something they failed to do last year as a No. 1 seed. That they’d done it after a stretch filled with adversity made Eagles coach Lynette Schroeder smile. In a dimly lit hallway outside the Eagles’ locker room, she explained why — the struggle had made them a tougher team to beat.

"I’m proud of how they rebounded back," Schroeder said. "And the injuries, as we start to look back now, were kind of a blessing-in-disguise because it’s allowed our bench to get minutes it normally wouldn’t so now they feel more comfortable on the floor."

Bountiful 62, Spanish Fork 37 • Kennedy Redding had a game-high 13 points for the Braves.

 Timpanogos 72, Roy 65 • Top-seeded Timpanogos used a 28-point third quarter to stave off an upset attempt from the Royals.

 Bonneville 56, Murray 35 • Bonneville, Region 5’s No. 1 seed, controlled the game from the beginning. The Lakers held the Spartans to just 10 combined points in the second and third quarters.

 Springville 66, Highland 60 (OT) • Springville pulled away in the final minute of overtime to beat the Rams. Savannah Park led the Red Devils with 18 points in the win.

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