Rich knew its opening game of the Class 1A girls' basketball tournament was not going to be an easy one.
True to form, Panguitch gave the Rebels all they could handle Wednesday afternoon at the Sevier Valley Center. But Emmalee Piert's basket with 17 seconds remaining broke a tie and proved to be the game-winner in a 41-39 Rich victory.
"I think we approached the game a lot more focused than had we not had such a tough opponent," Rich coach Scott Ferguson said.
The Rebels (18-1), No. 2 in the Tribune Power Rankings, led by nine points at halftime, but Panguitch (15-7), the Region 20 regular-season champ, chipped away and tied the game on a Whittni Orton 3-pointer with 3:33 remaining in the game.
The teams traded free throws before Piert, a senior, hit the winning basket.
"We knew what they were going to do, and we tried to stop it," Ferguson said. "We did a better job of doing that in the first half than we did in the second. But we were able to weather all the storms."
Alyssa Brown had 12 points and Alisa Petersen added 11 for the Rebels, who advanced to play Monticello in today's quarterfinal. Darri Frandsen scored 11 points for the Bobcats.
Monticello 37, Wendover 26 • Shania Deanda and Zoe Chadwick each scored nine points for the Buckaroos (12-10), who limited Wendover to 10 first-half points.
Escalante 66, Monument Valley 46 • Lindsey Phillips scored 14 of her game-high 39 points in the second quarter to lead the Moquis (8-13) into a quarterfinal matchup with Layton Christian. Heidi Nelson scored 17 points for the Wildcats (11-10).
Layton Christian 40, Duchesne 38 • Teneshia Davison and Shayla Simpson each scored 15 points as the Eagles (12-7) held off Duchesne (11-11).
Manila-Tintic • The Mustangs jumped out to a 26-5 halftime lead and cruised from there. Ashley Hullinger had a team-high 10 points for Manila (19-3), which advances to play Piute/Intermountain Christian in Thursday's quarterfinal.
Piute 67, Intermountain Christian 21 • The Thunderbirds (18-5) had little trouble advancing in the first round. Intermountain Christian ended the season at 7-13.
St. Joseph 51, Wayne 35 • Junior Liz Tomon scored 16 of her game-high 27 points in the second half as the defending champion Jayhawks (19-0) remained perfect on the season. St. Joseph advanced to play Milford in Thursday's quarterfinal.
Milford 55, Green River 46 • Shyla Florence scored 15 points and junior Chandler Rose added 12 for the Tigers (17-7).
Thursday's state quarterfinals
O Manila vs. Piute/Intermountain Christian, 4 p.m.
• Layton Christian vs. Escalante, 5:30 p.m.
• Rich vs. Monticello, 7 p.m.
• St. Joseph vs. Milford, 8:30 p.m.