Taylorsville • Lydia Austin and Olivia Park were serenaded by teammates upon their return to the locker room.
"Sophomores! Sophomores!" they chanted in appreciation after the young guards delivered when Springville needed them most.
O Springville’s Lydia Austin makes the game-winning shot — a 3-pointer with 6.7 seconds left.
» The Red Devils reach the state final for the seventh consecutive season and will try for their fourth title in five years.
» Jamaica Christensen scores a game-high 17 points for Timpanogos, which loses a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Park and Austin – the latter falling with 6.7 seconds left — gave the Red Devils a come-from-behind 43-42 victory against Timpanogos in the Class 4A semifinals Friday at SLCC.
"It’s just basketball," Austin said, referring to her lack of nerves playing on such a large stage. "It’s just so much fun. This is my first time here and I did not know the environment — the hype from the crowd gets you going."
On the game-winning basket, Austin, who finished with 15 points, said she set up in the left corner and senior point guard Savannah Park found her.
"Savannah a lot of the time will drive and kick it out," Austin said. "So I spotted up in the corner like I always do, and she kicked it like she always does."
Springville (13-9) reached the state title game for the seventh consecutive season with its 10th win in 11 games. The Red Devils fell behind 39-32 early in the fourth quarter, but were helped by missed Timpanogos free throws.
Park missed a pair of 3-point attempts, but connected with 20.8 seconds left to cut the lead to 41-40. Another missed free throw by the Timberwolves (17-6) set the stage for Austin’s big shot.
"Lydia is a player who wants to be on the floor and wants to be a leader," Springville coach Camie Oakley said. "She knows how to do it. … She has all the confidence in the world. I’m just proud of her. When Savannah found her open, I had no qualms at all about her taking that last shot."
Austin made three of the Red Devils’ five 3-pointers in the opening quarter, and the Red Devils led 24-22 at halftime.
Timpanogos, which beat Springville for the 2012 state title, got a game-high 17 points from Jamaica Christensen. The Timberwolves’ final shot — a 3-point attempt by Eternity Galeai from the top of the key — banged off the front rim as the senior collapsed to the floor in disappointment.
The Red Devils’ three tournament victories have come by a combined nine points, and the first two were in overtime and double-OT.
"I didn’t think we’d need this many big shots, or we’d get the opportunity for this many big shots, but felt confident we could hit them," Oakley said. "They know how to win."
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