Bountiful • The Riverton girls' basketball team's bench erupted as Whitney Saunders' layup dropped through the net with seven seconds left in the game. After three quarters against Bountiful, the Silverwolves hadn't expected to be in that situation.
Saunders' layup proved to be the game-winner, allowing the Silverwolves to withstand a furious fourth-quarter rally from the Braves in a 47-45 win at Bountiful on Tuesday.
"I think it was good for us to feel that feeling," Saunders said of being pushed in the fourth after leading for much of the game. "Knowing that we're not ahead by that much and that it's still a game it was good."
After Riverton's pressure defense limited the Braves to 14 total points in the second and third quarters, allowing the Silverwolves to open a 13-point lead heading into the fourth, it didn't look like the finish would provide much suspense.
"Our teamwork was so good," Saunders said. "I mean, even when I was on the bench, I was so happy because my team was playing so good."
However, the Braves turned the tables in the fourth, using a full-court press to stifle the Silverwolves and force turnovers, leading to quality shots on the offensive end. A 17-4 Bountiful run capped by a 3-pointer from Ashley Eyring tied the game for the Braves.
But Saunders, who had a game-high 18 points, responded with her biggest shot of the night, the game-winning layup, to put the Silverwolves back ahead.
With six seconds left following a timeout, the Braves worked the ball down the court, but Jenny Skedros missed a shot from the top of the key as time expired, sealing the Silverwolves' victory.
"I think [Bountiful] rose to the challenge," Riverton coach Ron Ence said. "They flustered us as much as we flustered them the rest of the game. ... I hope we've learned our lesson to take better care of the ball down the stretch."
Tiana Dougher had 15 points to pace the Braves, who fell to 2-2 on the year. Riverton improved to 4-0.
Riverton 47, Bountiful 45
R Riverton's Whitney Saunders has a game-high 18 points, including the game-winning layup with only seven seconds left.
• The Braves tie the game in the fourth quarter after trailing by 13 points.
• Riverton's narrow victory keeps it undefeated on the season.