MC runs out of gas in upset bid of undefeated Springville

<strong>SALT LAKE CITY—</strong> For three quarters, the Mountain Crest girl’s basketball team went toe-to-toe with one of the top teams in the state. The Mustangs ran out of gas, however, and fell to undefeated Springville, 60-42, in the first round of the 4A State Basketball Tournament.

After falling behind 28-22 midway through the third quarter, the Red Devils used a stifling full court press to pressure the Mustangs and force 13 second-half turnovers. MC was able to hang around in the third quarter, tying the game up at 36 with a layup with a minute remaining in the period, and that would be the score heading into the final eight minutes.

The upset hopes ended there for Mountain Crest, as Springville opened up the quarter on a 4-0 run, forced a multitude of MC turnovers, and outscored the Mustangs 24-6 in the fourth to run away for the victory.

After falling behind 4-0 start the game, MC got right back into the game as they forced a couple turnovers of their own and got to the foul line. The Mustangs took their first lead of the game midway through the first quarter, and held an 11-7 advantage after the first eight minutes of action.

Mountain Crest continued to lead in the second quarter, aided by the fact that Springville star Malia Nawahine picked up three fouls early on and had to head to the bench. Nawahine is on her way to Utah after this season.

The Red Devils retook the lead with less than four minutes to play in the opening half, 15-14, with a layup inside. They maintained that lead until MC’s McKenzie Anderson hit a 3-pointer with just more than a minute remaining in the second quarter to tie the game at 19. That would be the final points of the half, as the teams went into the intermission tied at 19.

After shooting nearly 40 percent in the first half, the Mustangs opened the third quarter on a hot start with a layup inside. A few minutes later, Anderson knocked down another 3 to give MC its biggest lead of the game at 28-22. However, that was the beginning of the end for the Stangs. The Red Devils ended the third quarter on a 14-8 run to knot things up at 36.

While the loss is disappointing for the Mustangs, the playoff appearance and performance is a great ending for a team that turned it on at the end of the season. Mountain Crest (9-13, 3-7) scored big upsets wins on the road against valley rivals Sky View and Mountain Crest, and defeated region rival Roy last Thursday in a play-in game for the final playoff spot.

<em><strong>@TheRealTO</strong></em>

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