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SALT LAKE CITY — Box Elder did not have its best game, but “did just enough” to edge past an aggressive Maple Mountain team in the girls 4A quarterfinals Thursday, winning 49-46.
Maple Mountain attempted to close the gap late in the game but couldn’t overcome a 3-point deficit. Box Elder had an opportunity to extend its lead to five with less than 10 seconds to go in the game, but Keslee Stevenson missed both free throws, giving the Golden Eagles one more opportunity to tie the game up.
However, back-to-back shot attempts from behind the perimeter were blocked by Emily Isaacson and Stevenson of Box Elder, securing the win for Bees and an opportunity to play in the 4A semifinals.
“The thing about our girls is they do whatever it takes to win, that’s what they do,” Box Elder coach Aaron Dooley said. “I’m happy for them. They always find a way to win when the game is on the line. I’m proud of them, and we’re happy that we earned another game, and we’re excited for another opportunity that another game brings to us.”
The Bees escaped with a win despite making only two of its last six free throw attempts with less than 30 seconds left in the game.
“Free throws, goodness sakes,” Stevenson said. “Sometimes it’s just a mental block that you’ve got to get over.”
Stevenson, who has been one of the team’s best players this season, led the team in scores, finishing with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a block. Isaacson’s seven points and 13 rebounds helped the Bees overcome a lackluster performance.
“Keslee Stevenson is a star, and Emily Isaacson is a star,” Dooley said. “Maple Mountain did a great job of equalizing Keslee and we did a poor job of unequalizing (sic) that, but we did just enough to get a win. Hats off to Maple Mountain. They played their guts out.”
“Maple Mountain is a good team,” Stevenson added. “They came out with a lot of energy. We came out with better energy than the other day. Some of the calls weren’t going our way, but we can’t control that.
Box Elder will play the winner of the East-Judge Memorial matchup on Friday at 5:50 p.m. at Salt Lake Community College.