Highland’s 46-34victory over Springville for the Class 5A girls basketball title Saturday wasn’t always pretty. In fact, there were times it was downright ugly.
The Rams struggled with the Red Devils press. They went long periods without scoring. And they were in serious foul trouble much of the second half.
Still, they used physical and stifling defense to smother cold-shooting Springville and were just effective enough on offense to secure their first state girls’ title since 1984.
“Springville is tough,” said Highland coach Kurt Schneider. “They are big and strong and get after it. We had our moments, but we pulled through. The girls didn’t back down. We persevered and got through it.”
How effective was the Ram defense?
Springville connected on just 8 of 49 shots, for 16.3 percent from the field. The Red Devils were 0 of 17 from the three-point line and committed 11 turnovers.
STATE 5A GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP
HIGHLAND 46, SPRINGVILLE 34
• Highland gets 14 points and 10 rebounds from Kaija Glasker to win its first girls basketball title since 1984.
• Highland holds Springville to 8 of 49 from the field, including 0 of 17 from the three-point line.
• Red Devils inside players, Addisyn Johnsdon and Lauryn Deede, combined for 24 points and 15 rebounds.
That said, Highland also struggled at times on offense. The Rams committed 21 turnovers and were bothered by Springville’s press, especially in the second half.
Seemingly buried and down by 17 points with 3:49 left in the third quarter, the Red Devils never quit and ended up putting serious pressure on Highland in the fourth, cutting that lead to seven.
“It was hard, especially in the second half when they came back and we were in foul trouble,” said Highland star Kaija Glasker, who led her team with 14 points and nine rebounds, while hitting some key fourth quarter free throws. “It was tough, but we ended up pushing through it.”
An emotional Glasker listened to chants of “MVP, MVP, MVP” as she clutched the third-seeded Rams’ title trophy.
“I just appreciate them acknowledging the things I have done,” she said.
As for Springville, the Red Devils will always remember their semifinal upset victory over heavily favored Lehi Thursday. The Red Devils got big games from inside players Addisyn Johnsdon and Lauryn Deede, who combined for 24 points and 15 rebounds.
In the end, though, Highland had too much defense and just enough offensive firepower to secure the win.