PLEASANT VIEW — Northridge had nothing to lose but wanted to win, while Weber had to win for any wish at a girls 6A state tournament berth.
The Knights, seeded third in Region 1, wanted to get back on the right track heading into the tournament after struggling recently. A Weber win would get them a play-in game for the fourth and final slot.
In the end, it took two overtimes, but Northridge advances to the tournament riding a two-game win streak with a 53-46 victory and Weber will watch from the sidelines after a heartbreaking loss.
“Before the game I said, ‘you know what, they’re gonna want it because they need it.,’” Northridge coach Chris Smith said. “Of course I’d love to spoil it, but we want to be playing our best going into the playoffs. We struggled earlier this year; we lost three in a row ... This game means something; we can’t let them want it more than us.”
Weber center Bridget Triplett wanted it a lot, though, and stood in the way of the Knights. The senior put up a rarity in high school girls basketball — a triple-double, totaling 14 points, 16 rebounds and 10 blocks. But it wasn’t quite enough.
FEB. 13 ROUNDUP
“Triplett played her behind off. She had a ton of blocks and I said ‘hey guys’ shoot the ball when you’re open; we’re open before we get to Triplett but we take one more step and now we’re at her and she’s blocking them,” Smith said.
Kendell Petersen finally got free in the middle in the second overtime and made a layup to give Northridge a 48-44 lead and added a free throw with 44.4 seconds left to give the Knights a 50-46 edge. Weber went scoreless in the last 1:28 of the game.
“The coaches were telling us to slow down and manage our time, but I felt like I could make it so I just went for it,” Petersen said. “(Smith) told us when we’re up to kind of slow down and pass up a good shot for a great shot.”
Petersen finished with 12 points off the bench for the Knights and Lydia Mashburn added 11, including 9 of 12 from the free-throw line, and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Weber had a lot of heroes along the way, including Taylor Morris, who calmly sank a pair of foul shots with 1.9 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime tied at 39. She scored 16 points on 7 of 8 from the line and had a 3-pointer.
Triplett was 4 for 4 from the charity stripe in the first overtime, tying the game yet again at 44 with 25.7 seconds left.
Northridge will now face Region 2’s two-seed — either Kearns or Cyprus — in the first found of the 6A tournament at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at Salt Lake Community College.