<strong>SMITHFIELD—</strong> After losing five straight games, Mountain Crest has now won two in a row – the latest coming in a shocker over valley-rival Sky View in overtime Tuesday.
After keeping it close the entire game, Mountain Crest used a late surge to force overtime. The Mustangs then outlasted Sky View in the extra period to come away with a 42-37 win.
“It’s one more in the win column and one less in the loss, which is where we need it right now,” MC interim head coach Amanie Crosbie said.
After stints at both Sky View and Mountain Crest, Crosbie is back on the sidelines for the first time since the 2007-08 season, filling in for Candace Thornton who is dealing with a pregnancy. Crosbie will finish out the season.
Kelsey Kartchner led Mountain Crest with 11 points, while Baylee Willden and Kenzie Rasmussen added nine points apiece. Sky View’s Lindsey Jensen led all scorers with 20 points, while Tara Goldman chipped in 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Bobcats. Goldman and Jensen combined to score all but three of Sky View’s total on the night.
After a back and forth battle throughout the first half, Sky View found itself leading Mountain Crest 22-18 at the break. Goldman and Jensen scored all of the Bobcats’ first half points.
Jensen scored the first eight points for Sky View to start the third quarter, and a Kenley Hellstern free throw and a Lindsey Koford bucket put the Bobcats up seven with just a few seconds left in the period. However, Mountain Crest’s Kayla Erickson got fouled and made both free throws to cut the lead to five heading into the fourth.
Rasmussen hit a free throw early in the fourth to bring the Mustangs within four. The scoring then dried up for both teams as the score remained 33-29 for the next four and a half minutes. Willden made a layup for Mountain Crest with 2:40 left to make it a 33-31 lead for Sky View.
“They are a great team, they move the ball well. We just really knew they had a lot of movement in their offense, you know driving, and we just really tried to take that away,” Crosbie said. “I think in our plan we were trying to take them out of their game mode, which worked. They were kind of doing things that they don’t normally practice and I think it took their groove away a little bit, which is what we were trying to do.”
With 36 seconds remaining in the fourth, Jensen finally broke the ice for the Bobcats with two free throws, the team’s only points in the quarter. After another Willden bucket, Mountain Crest’s Rasmussen was fouled after making a layup. She went to the line shooting one with the game tied at 35 and eight seconds left on the clock. The shot was no good and the two teams headed into overtime.
“One of the biggest things and what got us (into overtime) was being aggressive,” Crosbie said. “Sometimes going into overtime everybody starts to play safe and you kind of back off. We really tried to focus on sticking with the things that got us there – being in that attack mode, looking for those things and on defense being aggressive. We had to still get out there on them and work on our game plan and they did it. All the way down the wire. We missed some free throws there which kind of put it a little scary but when it counted we hit those big ones and it made the difference.”
With just under three minutes left in overtime, Sky View struck first on two Goldman free throws. Kartchner immediately answered on the other end for the Mustangs, tying the game at 37 with 1:41 left to play.
Kartchner hit two free throws with 55 seconds remaining to give Mountain Crest their first lead since the second quarter. Sky View had several opportunities to regain the lead but couldn’t put the ball in the hole and was forced to foul. The Mustangs made their free throws down the stretch and pulled away for the win.
“One thing we talked about is sometimes with things that come you don’t get to pick the hand that you’re dealt. It’s all about what you do with it,” Crosbie said. “We’ve talked a lot about character and desire. We’ve kind of been having a downhill season. We’ve had some losses. Then we had a turnaround game with Roy the other night and all of a sudden we just knew we had our backs against the wall. We were threatened to not make it to state and this was a much needed win. Those girls just dug in and worked hard in practice. We executed our game plan and came out on top. I’m very, very proud of them.”
Sky View drops to 14-3 and 4-2 in Region 5, while Mountain Crest improves to 7-9 and 2-4 in the region. The Bobcats will host undefeated region leader Bonneville Thursday at 7 p.m. and the Mustangs will return home to face Box Elder that same day at 7 p.m.