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5A girls' basketball: American Fork offense awakens in fourth quarter to oust Copper Hills

Published February 24, 2017 11:19 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Taylorsville • American Fork made every play it had to have in the final period Friday.

The Cavemen girls' basketball team outlasted Copper Hills 48-45 in the Class 5A state semifinals at Salt Lake Community College.

American Fork advanced to face Viewmont (21-3) for the championship at 11 a.m. Saturday at SLCC.

Both squads played high-pressure defense that contributed to the low score, but the Cavemen also had an uncharacteristically poor shooting night.

American Fork shot just 22 percent from the field through the first three quarters.

Cavemen senior Savanna Empey said the offensive approach didn't change even though the ball wasn't dropping.

"We shoot every open shot," she said. "It's the philosophy of our team."

The Cavemen managed to find the net when they absolutely needed to have the points.

They made 4 of 8 field goals in the final period, all coming from beyond the arc — two by senior Paige Farnsworth and one each from sophomore Jamie Shepherd and Empey.

Add center Taylor Franson's two free throws after an intentional foul, and that accounts for American Fork's scoring in the period.

"I don't care who's scoring as long as it's happening," American Fork senior Taylor Moeaki said. "You can't always make your shots fall, but you can always communicate, take a proper stance and hustle. We always focus on controlling what we can."

There was plenty of drama in the final minute, too.

Franson and Empey each blocked a 3-point attempt by the Grizzlies that would have tied the game in the final minute.

"Those were plays by seniors who didn't want the season to end just yet," American Fork coach Corey Clayton said.

American Fork 48, Copper Hills 45

• After losing the first game of the season, American Fork reels off 24 consecutive wins to earn a spot in the Class 5A state championship game.

• The American Fork seniors reach at least the semifinals of the state tournament all four years of their high school careers.

• Sophomore Breaunna Gillen leads Copper Hills with 18 points and six rebounds.






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