Orem • The performances of Hurricane’s Jayden Langford and Mountain View’s Tahlia White nullified each other in a way, so something different was going to have to happen.
And it did in the way of five straight Hurricane points at the midway point of the fourth quarter as the Tigers pulled away late for a 53-44 victory in their Class 4A girls’ basketball state quarterfinal at Utah Valley University.
“We were ready. We came prepared,” said Langford, the only double-figure scorer for Hurricane (19 points). “Last year we had a lot of regrets about how we played, and so I don’t know, we just came pumped up. Especially with our seniors, this is our last go.”
Mountain View (19-2) tied the game at 33-33 when White, who had a game-high 24, popped a 3-pointer at the 1:33 mark of the third period after an almost five-minute scoreless stalemate.
The contest still was tied at 39-39 when Hurricane’s Madi Hirschi made her only 3-pointer of the game with 4:35 remaining. It turned out that her long-range shot gave the Tigers a lead they never relinquished.
“She’s a great shooter. That’s where she’s scored most of her points all year long,” Hurricane coach Franci Homer said about Hirschi. “We are shooting in a completely different gym. The feel is so different. We tried to practice at our college floor two days ago to try to get that feel.”
After an empty offensive trip by Mountain View, junior Hailey Homer sank two free throws for a 44-39 advantage with 3:48 remaining.
The game reverted to the White-Langford duel at that point, with White hitting a shot before Langford scored four straight. But the margin had been established, and the Tigers only expanded the gap as the clock ran down.
Homer “never misses her free throws, and she missed four. I was like, ‘What?’” said coach Homer, who also is Hailey’s mother. “It was huge for her to miss those four then come back and make her next four. It was awesome.”
The Bruins entered as the Region 10 champions, while Hurricane finished second behind Cedar City in Region 9.
“We did a lot of studying on them the last couple of days. We had to really go over their offenses, their out-of-bounds plays,” coach Homer said. “So the girls would know what to expect, especially with No. 23, White. She’s phenomenal.”
HURRICANE 53, MOUNTAIN VIEW 44
• Hurricane pulls away from a 39-39 tie in the fourth quarter with five straight points as part of a 9-2 run.
• Tigers senior Jayden Langford scores 19 points, while teammates Kylee Stevens and Hailey Homer add nine apiece.
• Tahlia White finished with 24 points and nine rebounds for Mountain View.