RICHFIELD -- The Christian Heritage Crusaders have enjoyed a dream girls basketball season, winning game after game with high expectations in the season-ending state 1-A tourmament.
Today, the CHS girls will play at 3 p.m. against Rich for third place in their first-ever trip to the state tourney.
But they came oh-so-close to playing for the championship.
Friday, the Crusaders cruised through the first three quarters of their semifinal-round game with Bryce Valley at the Sevier Vally Center. CHS led 12-9 after one quarter, and upped the margin to 27-20 at halftime.
After each team scored nine points in the third period, the Crusaders found themselves just a quarter from the final.
But Bryce Valley outscored Christian Heritage by nine in the final period, highlighted by Ashley Nelson's 3-pointer in the final seconds to lift the Mustangs to the 47-44 victory.
Emilie Volk scored 20 points for the Crusaders (19-1), adding four rebounds and three steals. Mercedes Brown added seven points for CHS, while Josi Rydin added six rebounds and three steals.
Emilie Harmon led the Mustangs with 12 points, while Witni Syrett added 10 points.
The teams battled back and forth in the final minutes before Bryce Valley (16-8) worked it around for the final shot.
Rich battled back from a big deficit to nip Piute 51-50 in the other semifinal
* ST. JOSEPH 49, ALTAMONT 40: At the Sevier Valley Center, the Jayhawks used a stron third quarter to build an edge and advance to today fifth-place game. St. Joseph will play Panguitch at 1:30 p.m.
Katie Berry scored 24 points and Tauna DeHaan added 11 points as St. Joseph jumped out to a 15-8 lead but trailed 24-23 at the break. The Jayhawks' defensee limited Altamont to four points in the third period and hit all 17 of their free throw attempts to improve to 14-9.
* KANAB 45, LAYTON CHRISTIAN 23: At Snow College's Arena in Ephraim, the Eagles couldn't get much going offensively in their tournament opener, and saw their season end with a 7-14 overall record.