OGDEN -- Poor shooting, too many turnovers and an inability to get to the free throw line were a fatal combination for the Bear River girls basketball team on Thursday afternoon in the state 3-A quarterfinals against Cedar at the Dee Events Center.
Despite it all, the Bears still had a shot in the game, getting as close as six points with three minutes to play. But the Redmen controlled the clock down the stretch and bounced the Bears into the consolation bracket with a 51-41 victory.
Bear River suffered through a 37 percent night from the floor, including just 7-for-20 in the second half. Leading scorer Jordan Theurer, in particular, struggled with her shot, hitting just 5-of-18 shots. Cedar's size advantage had something to do with that, but the Bears were missing shots they normally make.
"We played a little frustrated," Bears coach Van Park said. "We let the first half physicality bother us a little bit."
To make matters worse, Bear River couldn't get to the line. Cedar was called for only six fouls in the game, including just one in the entire first half -- a meaningless reach-in foul with 3.3 seconds left in the second quarter.
"It was hard for us at first because they were knocking down 3s like we knew that they could," Park said. "And it's hard when it's that physical and they get called for their first foul with less than five seconds left in the whole first half. Cedar's been playing zone almost all year, but against us they came out and played a very good man defense and we kind of folded under it."
Bear River, down just five at halftime, saw Cedar's advantage balloon to 11 by the end of the period and it appeared that the game was all but over. But the feisty Bears wouldn't give up, closing the gap to six before the clock became their enemy. The Redmen dribbled out most of the final three minutes, stopping only for an occasional trip to the foul line.
"I was really proud of how we battled back," Park said. "But against a team that good you can't get down 10 because they handle the ball and shoot foul shots so well. We knew coming in that they were a great shooting team and they proved it."
One noticeable bright spot for Bear River was the play of Sarah Huber, who went 4-for-7 from the floor, including a pair of 3-pointers, and finished with 12 points. Theurer added 10 points and nine rebounds, while Paige Roholt added eight points.
Tara Shipp scored 16 points to lead Cedar, which hit nine 3-pointers. Javlyn Weaver added 14 points.
Bear River will play Carbon on Friday morning at 9:30 in the first consolation bracket game. Cedar will face Dixie in the semifinals.
"This team has always bounced back," Park said. "We were really young early on and played a brutal preseason and lost nine of our first 10 games. But they just battled through it and started playing really good basketball. So I expect them to play well tomorrow, I really do."