TAYLORSVILLE — It is the game everyone is talking about. Too bad it’s not for the state 4-A title.
Today’s highly anticipated semifinal-round matchup between two of the state’s three remaining undefeated girls basketball teams — two-time defending Region 5 champion Bonneville and last year’s 4-A runner-up Springville — will determine one participant for Saturday’s state championship game at Salt Lake Community College.
The Lakers (23-0 overall) steamed to a 31-point quarterfinal romp over Hillcrest, with the Red Devils (23-0) spanking Clearfield by 28 points.
“It’s going to come down to our defense, like always. Defense wins games,” said Bonneville junior point guard Cortney Porter.
The Lakers’ top three scorers — Emilie Volk, Kayla Eilertson and Porter — combined for 37 points Thursday in a 61-30 runaway over the Huskies in Bruin Arena.
“We were just open and hit our shots,” said the 17-year-old Porter. “We did a good job working the ball around to the open man. We changed up our defense, which helped the offense.
“We played mostly man-to-man and some 1-3-1 zone for a few possessions,” she said. “We were each getting some layups, we started communicating better and our energy level went up in the second half.”
Bonneville battered the Huskies 42-12 during the second half after leading by just a point at halftime.
The Lakers scored 23 points off 23 Hillcrest turnovers, had a 26-6 points in the paint advantage and were 15-0 in fast-break points.
“It was a pretty efficient game for getting everybody involved in the second half,” Porter said. “Hillcrest came out aggressive and that’s what we’re expecting from Springville.”
Kayla Eilertson scored a game-high 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range, with one block. Porter went 3 of 7 from the floor for 12 points — 2 of 4 from deep — with two boards, six assists, three steals and only one turnover.
Volk, a Fresno State signee, had 10 points on 3-of-8 shooting with seven rebounds, five assists and one steal for Bonneville, which shot 47.7 percent (21 of 44) — 46.1 percent (6 of 13) on 3-point attempts — outrebounded the Huskies 30-26 and committed 11 turnovers.
“We each have things we’re good at,” Porter said. “It all depends on who is on and what teams are doing against us defensively.”
Whitney Nemelka had a team-high nine points for Hillcrest (14-8), which shot 25.0 percent (9 of 36) — the Huskies were 2 of 20 from the floor in the second half — in being limited to a season-low point total.