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OGDEN — Brittlyn Carter and Sydnee Gillins combined for 41 points, and the Beaver Beavers cut down the nets at Weber State’s Dee Events Center to claim its seventh championship over the Kanab Cowboys 54-52 Saturday.
“I’m really happy for ‘em,” Beaver head coach Jonathan Marshall said after game. “This is a great group and I’m so happy for ‘em to finish this way because they worked so hard for it.”
The win is Beaver’s (21-3) third over Kanab (20-4) this season.
“Both games were the same kind of games,” Marshall said. “Both games could have gone either way, we knew it was gonna come down to the wire. I was just hoping we had enough gas in the tank.”
Fortunately for Marshall, they did.
Trailing 38-37 at the end of the third quarter, Gillins took over in the final frame, scoring six of Beaver’s first 11 points to stretch the Beavers’ lead to 49-44. Along with Brittlyn Carter’s free throws, Gillins later helped ice the game with two free throws of her own.
“I knew that time was ticking … and I knew something had to be done,” Gillins said. “So I just went to work and I knew we had to score.”
“When it’s a big game and the game is on the line, Syd just plays awesome," Marshall added. "We made plays when we had to.”
Sidney McDonald led Kanab with 17 points on 5-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-9 from deep, while Jessi Anderson pitched 8 points and seven rebounds. Grayce Glover contributed 7 points.
For the game, the Cowboys shot 47 percent (9-of-19) from three and 81 percent (13-of-16) from the charity stripe, but found little offensive purchase elsewhere.
“One of our goals was to make them beat us from outside,” Marshall said. “But I tell you what, they’re a great team and it took everything we had.”
Tied at 21 at halftime, Beaver started fast in the third quarter, with Brittlyn Carter scoring 5 points as part of a larger 9-5 run that gave the Beavers a 30-26 advantage. Then, following McDonald’s triple, Beaver knocked in three free throws to secure another 4-point lead, 33-29.
But Kanab punched back. McDonald knocked in another three, as did Brinley Cornell (6 points, five rebounds), and the Cowboys regained the lead at 35-33 before carrying a 38-37 lead into the fourth quarter.
“This feels amazing,” Gillins said. “We’ve wanted this for forever. So I’m so glad to be here and to finally do it this year.” Follow Dillon on Twitter @dillondanderson.