Both teams had possessed the lead and made comebacks multiple times, but the ultimate lead did not prevail until Thunder’s Ashlee Moser nailed a three-point shot with only eight seconds left on the clock giving the Thunder the 41-40 win.
The Thunder, down 40-38, rebounded a missed second free throw by Cedar with 23 seconds left and cruised down the court for a final shot situation.
Moser said her teammate Alyssa Tomlinson asked where she would set up for a shot. Seconds later, another teammate found Moser for an open shot and the junior drained the field goal sending the home crowd into jubilation.
“It was actually Blair [Bliss] who had the ball, drove the lane and passed it out to me,” Moser said. “It felt good the whole way. I knew it was going in. We made eye contact and that was all that was needed. It was a good play.”
Cedar had 7.7 ticks to answer the big shot but it was too much to ask for: drive full court and set up for a good shot. They did get a shot off, but it did not find the inside of the rim.
The Lady Reds began the game well taking a 14-6 lead after the first quarter. The solid Cedar-quarter was based upon Madison Alger’s eight points (3-of-6 shooting), including knocking down two treys. However, both teams then went into an erratic spell.
Cedar only scored five points in the second quarter and Desert Hills managed eight points and Cedar had a 19-14 lead at the break. The Thunder looked different after halftime—it was visible that they were playing with controlled manner.
Thunder coach Chris Allred said his team just needed to be reminded of some things and it led to stabilization.
“I think it’s one of those things when you’re really young and you’re amped up for a game, you come out and you’re rushing everything,” said coach Allred. “The first half we weren’t smooth at all.
“On the offensive side we kind of stood, then we forced, and we weren’t sure of what we were trying to do there for awhile. We just talked about settling down at halftime and executing what we know we can do. Make the extra pass and try to work for better shots.”
The Thunder tallied 13 points to Cedar’s four in the third and took the lead away from the visitors 27-23, it was the first lead Desert Hills had since their 4-2 advantage.
“We came out there in the third quarter and did a good job of deflecting passes,” he said. “We turned some of them into transition baskets.”
Desert Hills increased its lead to 31-25, and appeared to have gained control of the game, but the Cedar girls thought otherwise.
Taylor Davis came off the bench to knock down a deep three-pointer for Cedar and closed the score 31-28 with 4:20 left. Then Tara Shipp sank two free throws and the score was 31-30 a minute later. Shipp later tied the score with an inside lay-up, and stole the ball right after her bucket and made another lay-in putting Cedar up 34-32.
Cedar’s lead went back and forth from one point to three points to two points and Cedar Coach John Elison got his team believing in themselves before the fourth quarter, and during some timeouts.
“We kind of struggled in the second and third quarters trying to run our offense,” Elison said. “We were impatient and weren’t where we needed to be. We spent half the game trying to that figure that out.
“In that fourth quarter, I just told them ‘you’re only down a little bit here, we have plenty of time. You got to be patient offensively and make sure we’re where we are supposed to be. Move the ball and opportunities will come and just play tough D.’”
Cedar shot 5-of-14 from the field in the final quarter, two three-pointers from Davis and Shipp' 3-of-4, in addition Shipp converting 5-of-6 free throws. The duo accounted for all Cedar’s fourth quarter points.
Desert Hills got solidity in the fourth from Moser’s four rebounds (three offensive), six points (coming from 3-pointers), and Bliss’s six points, and three rebounds in the final eight minutes.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” Moser said. “We were definitely pumped up to play this game.
“It is a good way to start off region.”
Bliss led the Thunder in scoring with 11, and Moser and Karlee Myers both had 10.
Shipp scored 11 for Cedar and Alger added 10.
Cedar 14—5—4—17 < 40
Desert Hills 6—8—13—14 < 41
Other games in Region 9 Tuesday night:
Hurricane 59-43 over Pine View
Snow Canyon 38-33 over Canyon View
REGION 9 GIRLS STANDINGS:
Desert Hills 1-0 (5-1 overall)
Hurricane 1-0 (3-3)
Snow Canyon 1-0 (4-2)
Dixie 0-0 (4-2)
Cedar 0-1 (3-1)
Pine View 0-1 (3-4)
Canyon View 0-0 (1-4)
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