Wasatch let a one-point halftime lead slip through its fingers by getting outscored in the third quarter by seven points. Although that number was not insurmountable, it seemed to have left the Lady Wasps a little flat--until the closing minutes of the game.
With 1:40 remaining and the home team down 44-54, senior guard Hailey Hardman nailed her third three-pointer of the game. With a full court press in high gear, junior guard Ashlyn Coleman took in a lay-up off a steal and Wasatch had closed the gap to five.
The Lady Wasp defense got the ball back quickly after shutting down the visitor and Hardman made them pay with another three-point basket making it 52-54. The Golden Eagles failed to increase their lead once again and Wasatch seized control of the ball with 10 seconds to go.
With the crowd on its feet, the Lady Wasps passed the ball around the perimeter looking for the open shot. With two ticks on the clock, senior guard Tristin Bills found junior Alexa Hayter slashing towards the basket for a lay-in that tied it at 54 as time expired.
The two squads exchanged baskets in the first overtime with Maple Mountain taking a three-point lead 62-59 with just seconds remaining. Wasatch brought the ball into their zone looking to set up for a three-pointer to tie it. Coleman gathered the rebound off a missed attempt and drifted back to the line, firing a bomb that hit nothing but the net as the buzzer sounded tying it at 62.
Hardman, who finished the game with 28 points, made a pair of three-point shots in the second OT, but the Wasps needed a two-for-two conversion at the foul line from Hayter to tie the game again and force an amazing third extra period.
Wasatch was finally able to put the Golden Eagles away in the last minute of the third overtime. After jumping out to a six-point advantage behind fast break lay-ups from Bills and Coleman, the home team held off a late period rally and were able to win 84-82.
Behind Hardman’s seven, three-point shot performance, Coleman added 25 points, Bills contributed 13 and Hayter came in with 11. Senior Heather Evans paced the Wasps with six rebounds.
The 166 combined points effort by both teams in that game may have been one of the most exciting in Wasatch girl’s basketball’s storied history.
Friday night’s 30-28 win, a much quieter and defensive effort over Provo, may have lacked the excitement of the previous game but it continued to show the tenacity of this season’s Lady Wasp varsity crew.
With points at a premium, this game was won in the paint with a physical, slower pace. The adjustment, again, was on the nose for head coach Thom Perkins, who continues to put his girls in a position for success.
“A win’s a win,” said co-captain Hardman after the Provo game. “This one was pretty ugly, but we’ll take it all day long.”