TAYLORSVILLE – The Bountiful Lady Braves made a defensive stand in the opening quarter of each half against the Spanish Fork Dons in the first round of the state 4A girls’ basketball playoffs.
Between the two quarters, Bountiful allowed Spanish Fork to score just five points, and Bountiful won the game easily, 62-37.
“The girls just played great defense and helped each other out,” said Lady Braves coach Joel Burton. “You can never complain about having a center who’s 6-4 behind you to block shots.”
Bountiful opened the game with a 13-point first quarter lead, and allowed only three points to the Lady Dons with Tiana Dougher, Kennedy Redding and Lovely Tukuafu, among others, playing tough defense throughout.
The defense for Bountiful played so well that Spanish Fork didn’t score its first points until 3:40 remaining. Tukuafu, Amy Chidester and Christina Plank helped the Lady Braves offensively by scoring the first 10 points for Bountiful, and the rout was on from there.
“We changed some things on defense coming into this game,” said Burton. “We were trying to adjust to their shooters, but we did have a little bit of a lull in the second quarter, but we still played well.”
Linette McLachlan scored the first bucket for Bountiful early in the second quarter, but were held scoreless until less than two minutes remained in the first half.
Spanish Fork took advantage of the opportunity, going on an 8-0 run and eventually closing its halftime deficit to 10 points.
Bountiful’s defense once again stepped up to open the second half, not allowing a single point by the Dons until 22 seconds were left in the third quarter.
The near shutout allowed Bountiful to take a 43-17 lead after the third quarter.
Redding took over the fourth quarter for Bountiful, scoring straight points and pulling down five of the team’s six rebounds on the defensive end.
Redding finished the game with 13 points, all of them coming in the second half.
“We felt like she would be the biggest difference behind us wanting to make a push towards a state championship or not,” Burton said. “She’s a nightmare for the opposition and we’re lucky to have someone like her on the team.”
Bountiful will play Timpanogos Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.