Schoolgirl Basketball: Payout Nip Valley in the Women’s 1A Championship

Box score

Towards Saturday’s 1A Championship game with Topseed Valley, the Paiute girls’ basketball team knew they couldn’t take anything for granted.

The Thunderbirds won 44-40 titles in a regional rivalry battle at the Sevia Valley Center in Richfield on Saturday night.

“We haven’t seen past the valley. They are smart players and know how to play the game,” said Hannah Wittwer, a junior on the Piute team.

The valley opened with a 7-0 run, preventing the Paiute girl from scoring nearly five and a half minutes.

“I felt it was okay if I could pass the hoop with one ball,” said Piyute coach Tim Westwood.

That’s exactly what happened when Piyute Terra Morgan made an inside jump shot that rolled into the net. From there, the Thunderbirds scored the next 14 points and built a 16-7 edge, and the dam broke.

“Wayne County did the same for us,” said Ashley Talbot, a lonely Paiute senior. “We just had to be nervous, and that’s obviously the way to do it by letting them score.”

Throughout the second period, the Paiute completely blocked the valley’s fire from the field. The only point of the second stanza buffalo came from the foul line. After a pair of trays, T-Birds held the advantage of 19-11 in half.

“It took a lot of defensive teamwork,” said Ashton Winkel of Paiute Jr. “We all had a role. It was a team, not one.”

Talbot fired a shot across the arc and began the third period. Talbot finished the night with 12 points, including two 3 points.

“I was very nervous, but calm and nervous,” Talbot said. “Even though we beat us twice during the season, our team believed we could do it. We beat them only once.”

The Paiute girl scored another 9 points in the third period, knowing that the valley was still dangerous, even with a 31-15 edge. But until then, I had a hard time dropping shots into the valley. Valley finished the game by shooting 13 out of 37 people from the field and 12 out of 21 people from the charity stripe.

Meanwhile, Piute achieved a higher percentage of conversions, hitting 14 out of 29 from the floor and 12 out of 18 from the foul line.

“Valley is a great team. They have great leadership and … girls who can score quickly and quickly,” Westwood said. “I kept telling the girls,’They will come back. You have to stay on your toes.”

The girls in the valley made that prediction when they started pulling into the game by scoring the next 7 points.

Through the fourth stanza, the valley’s defenses were strengthened, allowing only two piute shots from the field to enter.

Meanwhile, Valley’s Page Harris scored 8 out of a total of 11 points in the last 8 minutes. This includes the bucket from under the hoop when the last buzzer sounds. However, Piute prolonged the surge to freeze the victory.

“We had a good match, and our shots came in,” said freshman Casey Grave. “I love my teammates and will be sad when Ashley leaves next year.”

This victory is the first Paiute Women’s Basketball State Championship since 2010.

Deseret News 1A All Tournament Team

MVP: Kassidy Westwood, Paiute

Terra Morgan, Paiute

Ashley Talbot, Paiute

Kaycee Gleave, Piute

Esther Cox, Valley

Page Harris, Valley

Schoolgirl Basketball: Payout Nip Valley in the Women’s 1A Championship

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