Prep girls' basketball • Red Devils' 23-0 run breaks the game open.
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Taylorsville • Clearfield scored the first points of Thursday's Class 4A girls' basketball quarterfinal playoff game against Springville. That proved to be all the motivation the Red Devils needed to assert themselves.
Springville used a 23-0 run in the first half to take command of the game and coasted past the outmatched Falcons 55-27. The win sets up a semifinal showdown Friday against Bonneville. Both teams are undefeated at 23-0.
"It's hard not to think about that," Springville's Savannah Park said of the impending matchup with Bonneville. "You're bound to meet if you keep winning. Now that we're here, it's nice to be able to focus on it. Part of you wants to look ahead, but it never benefits you. At state, you can't underestimate anyone."
Aside from the opening basket, the Red Devils dominated the Falcons, who clearly looked frazzled and unable to get open shots. By the time Clearfield's next basket was made, the Falcons trailed 23-5, and the game was well in hand.
Springville coach Nancy Warner said getting past the first round and having a day of rest enabled her team to refocus its priorities.
"Having one day under your belt and getting used to the atmosphere of the court and having your minds right helps," Warner said. "The girls really came back and played well. They got used to things out there again. Team defense really set the tone and it got our offense going. It was a great team effort."
The lead, which reached 30 points in the fourth quarter, allowed Warner to rest her starters for the majority of the second half to prepare for Bonneville.
"Any type of rest is good, especially whenever you play back to back," Warner said. "You've got to play your best in any game in the state tournament."
Park scored a game-high 18 points and had five steals. Following a closer-than-expected victory over Mountain Crest in the first round, the Red Devils made it a point to start fast and build an early lead against Clearfield.
"Our goal was to come out strong from the very beginning," Park said. "We didn't against Mountain Crest and that kind of killed our momentum. We don't like to play from behind. Our defense fueled our offense tonight."
The Red Devils led 35-10 at halftime and opened their biggest lead (48-18) moments into the fourth quarter. Malia Nawahine added 10 points and Brooke Wheeler nine for Springville. Each grabbed seven rebounds in the win.
Jocelyn Jones scored seven points to lead Clearfield, which scored in single digits in each quarter. Jones and Kaitlyn Stratton each had five rebounds.