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5A girls’ basketball: Staples leads Viewmont rally past Sky View, into title game

First Published      Last Updated Mar 09 2017 05:36 pm


5A girls’ basketball » Vikings head to final after big second half.

Taylorsville • Viewmont sat atop Class 5A as the top-ranked program for more weeks than any other team this season, but a rough finish to the season earned the Vikings a second seed from Region 2.

Therefore, both in perception and seeding, Viewmont was a significant underdog to Sky View, a popular pick to win the state championship. That was enough motivation for Viewmont.

The Vikings overcame a seven-point halftime deficit behind Mercedes Staples to upset the Bobcats 49-47 in the state semifinals at Salt Lake Community College on Friday afternoon.

"Honestly, the program is slowly gaining momentum," Viewmont coach Clint Straatman said. "We've been to the state tournament since I've been here — so seven years now — and we come and get beat in the first round. We didn't believe in ourselves. I have a group right now that believes in [themselves]. That's a big difference."



Staples finished with a game-high 21 points, five rebounds and four assists. She ignited an 8-0 run to start the third quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to help the Vikings surge ahead by one point after trailing 29-22 at intermission.

"Her IQ is through the roof," Straatman said. "She's getting recruited by everyone in the nation, and there is a reason why. They see that. She's the best player in the state. There's no doubt."

Staples' third 3-pointer of the game gave Viewmont a 44-38 advantage with 4:58 remaining in the game after the third quarter ended in a 38-38 deadlock.

"We got together and decided we aren't going to get pushed around anymore," said Viewmont's Megan Carr, who finished with nine points and 12 rebounds.

Viewmont effectively limited Sky View's big hitters, specifically Kaylee Carlsen (11 points), Kylie Hale (14 points) and Hunter Krebs (nine points). The three players still tallied the three highest point totals for the Bobcats (20-4), but the shots didn't come easily.

The Vikings (21-3) are seeking their first title in girls' basketball since 1980 and their third overall.

"I think we came out there with a lot more confidence," Staples said.

tphibbs@sltrib.com

Twitter: @trevorphibbs

 

AT A GLANCE

Viewmont 49, Sky View 47

» Viewmont uses second-half surge to upset Sky View.

» Mercedes Staples finishes with game-high 21 points for Vikings.

» Viewmont is seeking its first girls’ basketball title since 1980.

Class 5A girls’ tournament

at Salt Lake Community College

Friday’s semifinal scores

Viewmont 49, Sky View 47

American Fork 48, Copper Hills 45

Saturday

Championship

11 a.m. » Viewmont vs. American Fork


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