Roy • Bonneville guard Cortney Porter caught the inbound pass near halfcourt as the few precious seconds the Roy Royals needed ticked off the clock. She sprinted back, evading an intentional foul until there were just 1.9 seconds left.
The senior missed the front end of her one-and-one but the damage had been done. The Royals didn’t have time enough for a desperation heave for the upset. The ball harmlessly skittered away, rolling down the court after the buzzer.
Bonneville 42, Roy 40
O The Lakers survive after blowing a 13-point halftime lead to their rival.
» Roy leading scorer Kaitlyn Hurley has 13 points.
The final horn signaled a sigh of relief for Bonneville, as it escaped Roy’s comeback upset bid 42-40 on Tuesday night. It was the first of what should be many key Region 5 matchups for the Lakers, who are looking to keep their stranglehold on the region.
"I expected a dogfight," said Porter, who finished with 10 points. "They’re a good shooting team. They average a lot of points, so we were expecting a high-scoring game. We just had to come up with the defense."
Bonneville used a strong defense in the first half to force mistakes and take a 25-12 lead into the break. But the Royals immediately went on a run to open the third and put pressure on the Lakers, who seldom have been in close region games in recent seasons. By the time it was finished, the Lakers were on their heels, scrambling to hang onto their lead.
"I feel like we’ve had a target on our back this whole season because we went so far last year," Porter said of the Royals’ determination in the second half. "People are gunning for us and they’re going to play their best games against us."
After the Lakers reached the state Class 4A semifinals last year, coach Mike Russell knew they would be getting the opposition’s best shot during region play. So he scheduled a difficult slate that challenged his players and forced them to improve quickly. The dividends such a schedule would pay in games like Tuesday night’s were what he had in mind.
"That’s why our coach arranged those games — so we could win against better teams," Porter said. "We’re in a good region and we’re ready for those good teams in our region."
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