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OREM — Logan’s girls basketball season hung in the balance, trailing by seven points going into the potentially final quarter of the 2017-18 season Thursday.
But the Grizzlies weren’t ready to go home — especially not one of their youngest players.
Amber Kartchner scored 18 of her game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter to rally the Grizzlies to a 62-45 win over Spanish Fork in a Class 4A state quarterfinal Thursday at Utah Valley University.
And yes, as the Logan student section in front of the Grizzlies’ bench reminded everyone, she’s a freshman.
“I’m just blessed to have this opportunity, I guess,” said Kartchner, who shot 11 of 16 from the field with three 3-pointers. “I’m just going to keep shooting. That’s what helps my team win the most: score baskets, and don’t let them score baskets.”
Mia Marin added 12 points, three assists and four steals, and teammate Tori Craner added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Grizzlies (19-4), who advance to face Salem Hills at 2:30 p.m. Friday at the UCCU Center.
“We’ve got to fix the third quarter; we’ve been saying that all year,” Logan coach Josh Zentner said. “But I think the pace helped us. She’s a competitor, and you won’t meet a more competitive person.
“They all are. We were down to the last quarter, and it was win-or-go-home. We had to get it done.”
Amber Kartchner scores 27 points and has 5 steals to lead Logan to a 62-45 victory over Spanish Fork in the 4A state basketball tournament. pic.twitter.com/FtpeH7TEjY— Eli Lucero (@lucerophoto) March 2, 2018
Kennedy Frame led the Dons (14-8) with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Gabriell Beckstrom added eight points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals for a Spanish Fork team that finished with 46 boards — including a 21-7 margin on the offensive glass.
Still, it was Logan that took a 15-9 lead out of the first quarter. The Dons crashed the glass and rallied for a 22-21 advantage at the break, holding the Region 12 champs off the boards, 30-10. The Dons shot 9 of 27 from the field, but recovered 14 of their 18 missed field goal attempts.
Brylee Rudd drained a triple during an 8-2 run to open the second half for Spanish Fork, which stretched the lead to 37-30 after three quarters.
But basketball isn’t played in three quarters.
Kartchner scored back-to-back buckets to pace the Grizzlies’ 7-0 run to start the final period and tie the game at 37-37. Then she really got warmed up.
“I was mad. We had a bad third quarter; I definitely wasn’t playing my best,” Kartchner said. “But in the fourth quarter, I’m looking up at the score and I didn’t want it to be my last game.
“When the fourth gets going, I’m really ready.”
Kartchner hit another three to give Logan a 40-38 advantage with 6:10 remaining, and the Grizzlies finished off a 19-3 run with Taylor Rose’s coast-to-coast finish with 4:13 on the clock.
“They never gave up, and I never saw them doubt when we were down seven (to start the fourth quarter),” Zentner said. “They believed in what we were trying to do. We’ve talked about believing in our preparation, and we felt that we were prepared.”