Girls basketball: Box Elder upsets top-seeded Skyridge at 5A state tournament

Monday , February 19, 2018 - 3:06 PM

BOB JUDSON
Standard-Examiner correspondent

TAYLORSVILLE — With the terrible, snowy road conditions Monday, it took Box Elder about twice as long as usual to get to Salt Lake Community College for its first-round game against Skyridge in the girls basketball 5A state tournament.

Once the Bees arrived, they served notice they were a buzz-saw and could make some noise in the playoffs.

Box Elder rallied from a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter and took down No. 1 seed Skyridge 60-53, advancing to the quarterfinals on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against Timpview.

Emily Isaacson scored 27 points — 16 in the first half — including five 3-pointers and a 4-of-4 mark from the free-throw line to lead the Bees' attack.

"I've been practicing real hard from the 3-point line and improving that over the year; I want to do whatever I can to help my team," Isaacson said. "My team was setting good screens for me. We were swinging the ball, getting wide open shots and I was just in a groove."

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The Bees led by one at the end of the first quarter and halftime but trailed by four after three periods. They fell behind 45-38 early in the fourth, but then Isaacson got some help.

Morgan Reeder scored all seven of her points in the fourth frame. She made consecutive baskets from the left angle to make it 45-42, then drained three free throws in the final 2:47 to key a 22-8 run to finish the game for the Bees.

"I've been in these situations like this at state (last year) where there's lots of pressure and that really helps," Reeder said. "Also, my coach and teammates keep telling me 'you got this' and that's what I did there. It came down to which team wanted it more. Our team fought and we came out on top. We knew we could do it and just went out and got it."

Displaying that grit and determination was Kambri Curtis, who had knee surgery just three weeks ago. She came off the bench to net 10 points for the Bees, including four in the closing seconds to help them turn a 54-51 edge into a 58-53 lead.

Andreanna McKee also notched double digits for the Bees with 13 points and was a big factor on the boards.

Some would consider a four seed beating a one seed an upset, but Box Elder (12-11) coach Aaron Dooley sees it differently.

"Our region (Region 5) is tough. We weren't getting blown off the court against those teams (Viewmont, Roy, Woods Cross),” he said. “We were hanging in there; we just didn't pull them out. We hung in there today and our experience — we've been here before — came through a little bit for us today.”

When the Bees fell behind in the fourth, Dooley said they just followed the game plan and didn't panic.

"We just needed a stop. Get a rebound, then get a bucket and start building some belief,” he said. “We got a stop, saw the ball go in the hole. Once we did, it started a snowball effect. It created some momentum and it was downhill from there."

Somehow appropriate on a winter day in February.

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