SALT LAKE CITY — It took some luck and missed free throws by Springville at the end for Timpview to escape with a 55-54 win in the girls 4A quarterfinals Thursday.
With 20 seconds left in the game and a 4-point lead, Timpview’s Kealani Neves was at the free-throw line hoping to extend the lead to five. But a missed free throw and transition 3-pointer by Springville’s MiKayla Miyasaki gave the Red Devils some life with 11.9 seconds to play.
Timpview would get fouled on the ensuing possession, with Ella Pope making the first and missing the second free throw, giving the Red Devils another chance. Springville’s Kami Warner missed the second of two free throws, but the Red Devils’ Cheyanne Brown managed to get the rebound and drew a foul with less than a second to play in the game.
Brown would go on to miss both free throws, ending Springville’s chances of moving on to the semifinal round of the tournament.
“I had no doubt in my mind that they were going to win,” Neves said, speaking about having to rely on missed free throws to win. “I knew it. I just have so much faith in my team that there was no doubt.”
Although the end result was a win for Timpview, coach Aimee Dorais said she would have been pleased with either outcome considering how well both teams played.
“I don’t like to say that anything is luck,” Dorais said. “I think we definitely worked hard, but I think Springville worked hard and if it would have gone the other way, I think that result would have been fine, too. Both teams just gave it everything they had.”
Timpview’s Pope and Neves combined for 42 of the team’s 55 points in the win. Pope led all scorers with 22 points, shooting 3-of-4 from behind the arc, and added six rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Neves added 20 points, four assists, four steals and three rebounds.
Neves used her speed to negate much of Springville’s length and forced the Red Devils to keep up with a quick transition Timpview team.
“My coach always teaches us to use our strengths against their weaknesses and we knew coming into the game that everyone underestimates our team,” Neves said. “What I know I can do is I can run and I can push the ball.”
Springville’s Savannah Sumsion led her team in scoring with 15 points and 18 rebounds, but was quieted for much of the second half after getting in foul trouble and Timpview switching from a 3-2 defense to a 2-3 defense to “put more bodies down low.”
“Sumsion is a really good player, but we have just as good players,” Neves said. “I give a lot of props to our bigs for just pulling it down, down low and not letting her take over the basketball game.”
Timpview will play Skyline in the semifinal round of the 4A tournament on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Salt Lake Community College. Skyline upset No. 1 Alta, 81-66, to advance to the semifinals Thursday.