Ogden • Caroline Lantor wasn’t letting go, no matter what Cedar City tried.
Lantor snared a rebound and braced herself for the pulls, pushes and tugs.
O Dixie vs. Desert Hills
Saturday, 5 p.m.
At Weber State
She wasn’t letting go. Not of this rebound.
"All I wanted was to get the ball," the Dixie senior said. "The only thing in my mind was if I get this ball, get this rebound, then just hold it and we have the game."
Lantor slammed the ball to the court and yelled in glee as she walked down the court after drawing a foul Friday.
Lantor’s rebound helped the Flyers knock off Cedar City 33-31 in a Class 3A state semifinal at the Dee Events Center.
"Sometimes players have a knack of just getting up and getting a hand on something," Dixie coach Ken Robinson said. "She’s physical and she comes down with tough rebounds, and boy there’s none bigger than that one was."
The Flyers clung to a one-point lead when Lantor was fouled with 2.1 seconds left. While Lantor celebrated, teammate Elizabeth Thompson had other ideas.
"I was trying to calm Caroline down," Thompson said. "She was excited. Everyone was pumped. That’s good, but there’s still seconds on the clock."
A smile adorned Lantor’s face as she stepped to the line for her free throws. She sank the first and rimmed out the second, but she doesn’t remember either one.
"I just wanted to get them over with," she said. "There were only a couple seconds left. I just knew that make or miss, they were less likely going to make a shot with a second."
The rebound of the miss ended up getting tipped and sailing over the Dixie bench as the horn sounded.
"I was so, so excited, but we still have tomorrow," Thompson said. "We have to play for the championship. It’s not over."
Thompson made a crucial basket to help her team prevail. She struggled from the field for most of the game, missing seven of her first nine shots. But she found herself open under the basket with her team ahead by one with 56 seconds left. She caught the pass and quickly went up for a layup for a three-point lead with 56 seconds left.
"I missed two wide-open layups in the game, so I just was like, ‘This is it, this is the last chance,’ " said Thompson, who pumped her fist as she ran down the court to play defense. "So I just tried to compose myself. My coach was yelling at me the whole game. I just went up strong."
Cedar City enjoyed a five-point lead at halftime, but that shrunk to two after three quarters. The Flyers gained the lead thanks to an 8-1 run in the fourth quarter, when Cedar City went 0 for 11 from the field.
Thompson’s layup pushed Dixie’s lead to three before Cedar City’s Madison Alger hit two free throws to cut it to one. Dixie missed on the front end of a 1-and-1, but Cedar City answered with a miss on the potential winning shot, which Lantor rebounded.
"That rebound indicates we were moving on," Lantor said. "That’s the first thing that came into my head is, ‘We got this, we’re going to win, we’re going to go to the championship.’ "
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