WASHINGTON TERRACE — There was no holiday hangover for Bonneville on Friday.
The Lakers led wire to wire during a high-noon showdown against Weber and sailed away with a 46-37 upset victory in a non-region battle.
“Coming off Christmas break with five days off, you don’t know what to expect,” Bonneville coach Ty Dunyon said. “The girls showed up Wednesday with a spark in their eye. It speaks volumes to the character of our kids. They’re hungry to compete, they’re hungry to win, they’re hungry to get better.”
Junior guard Karly Conolly opened the game for the Lakers (5-4) with a 3-pointer and closed the scoring on a free throw in the fourth quarter as the backcourt led the way when Weber (7-3) shut down Bonneville post players.
“In the past, we’ve been able to rely on our two posts Mikaela (Johnson) and Talia (Afuvai), but they only had one point between them today,” Dunyon said. “Our guards Ashley (Croyle), Saydee (Larsen), Jenna (Czarnecki) and Karly stepped up when they needed to.”
Bonneville led 24-18 at the half and outscored the Warriors 7-4 in the third quarter, with Larsen netting all the Laker points in the period.
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“Our third quarter needed to be the best quarter we had. I don’t really focus on my individual stats. It kind of comes naturally from our teamwork,” Larsen said. “We just knew we had to come out and give everything we had in the third quarter and know our specific roles.”
Larsen finished with 18 points — 12 in the second half — while Conolly had 13, including a pair of 3-pointers. Croyle added 10, all in the first half.
Weber closed the gap to 40-33 in the fourth frame on a towering 3 by Paige Aardema, her third triple of the quarter, but Bonneville put it away from the free-throw line, scoring its last seven points from the charity stripe.
“We’re shooting very well from the free-throw line. It’s won us a lot of games down the stretch,” Dunyon said. “In practice, we try to do pressure free throws where they have to hit a certain percentage as a team or there are consequences.”
The Lakers shot 14 of 21 from the line, but were 7 of 8 in the final 2:39.
Aardema scored 11 points to lead the Warriors, while Megan Smoot had seven and Taylor Morris checked in with five. Weber already has a region game under its belt and both teams begin league play in earnest next week after some holiday time off.
“I have mixed feelings about it. I want the kids to spend time with their families; it’s a good time to rest,” Dunyon said. “But not playing this week going into region would be more detrimental by having two weeks off, so I think this is probably one of the most important games of the year to get ready for region.”