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OGDEN — Hillcrest beamed in the final moments of their quarterfinal victory against Highland.
In a difficult basketball game, the Hillcrest Huskies advanced to the 4A semifinals by defeating the Highland Rams, 59-47.
Hillcrest coach Sam Richins credited his team's defense and rebounding for the win.
"Defense and rebounds: that's what we preach every day," Richins said. "We're not often going to outscore people; that's not how we're built. We kind of have that hard-nosed attitude."
The Huskies out-rebounded the Rams, 37-29, though Highland led in offensive board, 13-8. Defensively, there were stretches where the Rams were just shut down: they only scored four points in the entire second quarter, for example.
"I've been around high school basketball for 17 years," Richins explained, "and this is not the most talented group that I've been around. But they have a resolve about them."
That resolve is enough to get them to the 4A semifinals, where they'll play surprising winners Springville.
It was the Ashby brothers that led Hillcrest. Freshman Brox Ashby, just 14 years old, led Hillcrest in scoring with 17 points. Brother Stockton Ashby added in 13, and the third Ashby brother, McKay, added two more.
"Just playing with my brothers really helps me," Brox Ashby said. "I think it takes down my nerves, and boosts up my confidence. I think we have really good chemistry with each other."
Charlie Gouchnour led Highland with 18 points in the loss.
Springville and Hillcrest will play at 5:30 p.m. Friday for a spot in the 4A finals at the Dee Events Center.