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TAYLORSVILLE — The Timpview Thunderbirds defeated the West Panthers 60-44 in the first round of the 5A girls state tournament.
The Thunderbirds were led by juniors Shalyn Fano and Ella Pope. Fano finished with 20 points and Pope finished with 18.
West started out the game with a lot of defensive pressure; at times full-court pressing. This allowed West to keep the score close in the early minutes.
After getting some steals and some fast-break points, Timpview was able to get a little separation from the Panthers.
Fano was able to take the ball coast-to-coast several times and finished over several West defenders.
Timpview ended the first-quarter leading 15-8.
The Thunderbirds picked up defensive pressure in the second quarter. They mixed it up by alternating between defensive sets.
Timpview was able to get some momentum after Fano got a defensive rebound and weaved down the court and through defenders before passing to Pope who finished with a reverse layup.
Timpview’s ability to rebound and push it down the court was a big part of their success Monday.
“That rebound could be anyone, and that pass out with the layup could be anyone, and I think that’s why we’re such a threat in this tournament,” Pope said.
Timpview finished the first half leading 27-17.
The Thunderbirds controlled the third quarter. They were able to increase their lead by ball movement and easy finishes at the rim. Fano’s dribble penetration caused the Panther’s defense to collapse on her, allowing Fano to pass the ball off to open teammates.
“Beginning of the year, third quarters were an issue for us, and we’ve really had discussions ad nauseam about how important a third quarter momentum shift is,” said head coach Aimee Dorais. “It’s going to happen for one team or the other and the importance of it being us, is something that we talk about a lot.”
The Panthers tried to cut down the deficit by attacking the rim, but it was not enough.
Fano and Pope continued their dominance en-route to their sixteen point victory.