Lehi • Maybe all the visiting Hillcrest Huskies would have needed was just a little more patience and a little better shooting percentage from their taller inside post players on a normal night.
But maybe Wednesday was a normal night after all, and the critical factors needed for a Skyridge girls’ basketball win was a harassing full-court press and some timely 3-pointers.
And that’s just what the host Falcons got in beating Hillcrest 37-35.
The total offensive production for both teams in the final quarter amounted to 11 points, with Skyridge (5-2) taking the fourth period 6-5 over Hillcrest (4-2).
But the Falcons got several turnovers as the Huskies tried to pull even or take the lead.
And it was 5-foot-5 sophomore Keylee Melling who hit a pair of long-range shots early in the final stanza that gave Skyridge the lead it needed.
Melling canned four of her nine 3-point shots in the game and started the last quarter with one to give the hosts a 34-30 lead. After a pair of Hillcrest free throws, Melling popped another for a 37-32 margin.
That would be the last time the Falcons scored, but that was enough.
“My teammates drive and if they don’t have anything, they pass it out to me,” said Melling, who finished with 15 points to lead all scorers. “I just tried my best to make it.”
Hillcrest started the game with a quick 3 by Amanda Means, but it quickly became apparent that tall seniors Annabella Jensen and Cara Snowder would be the main scoring weapons. The 6-2 Jensen finished with 11 points while the 5-11 Snowder led the team with 13.
But impatience in the halfcourt offense over the first two quarters combined with Hillcrest’s trouble handling the Skyridge press in the second half amounted to 15 turnovers.
“It helps us a lot because we’re very physically in shape,” Melling said about her team’s full-court pressure. “Most teams can’t run like we can.”
Hillcrest still had a few opportunities in the end, but the last went away unfulfilled when shots by Jensen and Taylee Allen were off the mark in the final 5 seconds.
“Skyridge has a lot of speed,” Hillcrest coach Devin Olenick said. “They have guards who can slash and shoot. It definitely presented a matchup problem for us. They were able to get us out of what we want to do offensively.”
SKYRIDGE 37, HILLCREST 35
• Sophomore Keylee Melling hits two 3-pointers in the final quarter, part of her game-high 15, to lead the victorious Falcons.
• Skyridge doesn’t score over the last six minutes, but Hillcrest only scores three points during that same span.
• Cara Snowder leads the visiting Huskies with 13 points and seven rebounds, while 6-foot-2 teammate Annabella Jensen adds 11 points and 10 boards.