Taylorsville • So it wasn’t a jumper and maybe it was a little too far away from the basket to be called a true layup. Just something in between.
But what it was, as the ball left her hands just in time, was certainly magic for Lauryn Deede and the Springville Red Devils.
Deede hit a running bank shot just before the buzzer and Springville snatched the Class 5A girls basketball championship with a thrilling 39-38 victory over Farmington.
“I was watching the backboard to find that red,” said Springville coach Holli Averett of the indicator light that time had elapsed completely. “And it was good. It (the light) was off.”
Deede’s game-winner set off a rush of Springville students onto the court in celebration at Salt Lake Community Center.
“It’s overwhelming. I don’t know if I want to laugh or cry,” Deede said. “I’m shaking a little bit.”
The quick sequence came right on the heels of a free-throw line jumper by Farmington’s Abigail Ferrell, a clutch shot in and of itself, with 10 seconds left that gave the Phoenix a one-point lead.
Eschewing a timeout, Averett chose to let her team move up the court. And quick movement to the other end by Springville ended with sophomore guard Ellie Esplin finding Deede running free toward the basket on the right.
“She must have heard me (yelling). She got me the ball,” Deede said.
“I was hoping that, in transition not calling a timeout, that our momentum would take us,” Averett said. “I knew if we called a timeout, they were playing pretty good D, we couldn’t get a good look.”
Springville (22-2), which lost in last year’s Class 5A finale to Highland, gave up a dozen straight points to Farmington in the middle of the third quarter. That gave the Phoenix, the tournament’s top seed, a 25-21 lead.
But the Red Devils closed out the run, and the quarter, with a 3-pointer from Kayla Porray and a running one-hander by Esplin as Springville entered the fourth with a 26-25 edge.
Farmington (20-2), led by Delaney Baker’s 16 points, tied the contest with a Haley McFarland shot with 43 seconds left. Esplin then was fouled driving to the basket with 28 seconds left and, after going down hard to the floor, hit one of two free throws to send the Devils’ up 37-36.
And that set the stage for the last frenetic final seconds of the game, with the title on the line.
Deede was the only player, aside from Baker, who finished in double figures as she ended with 14. Four of Springville’s starters played all 32 minutes of the contest.
“We worked so hard and we knew it would come down to a last basket. This game was a rough game all the way through, back and forth,” said Springville senior center Addisyn Johnson, who was tasked with the responsibility of guarding the 6-foot-3 Baker.
“It just came down to Lauryn,” Johnson added. “And she made it in.”
“Farmington is a great team. They have a big, they have shooters, the guards are good — they’re quick,” Averett said. “I just felt like we had to play complete defense without fouling, which we didn’t do the whole game, but I think we stayed composed the whole game.”