The Kanab Cowgirls hung on in an exciting victory over Delta, 58-56, on Tuesday at home, then torched Beaver on the road Thursday, 57-37. 

With the two wins and Delta’s loss to Enterprise on Thursday, Kanab took over sole possession of first place in region 13. The Rabbits were unbeaten in region until their two losses last week. 

Kanab faces Parowan and Millard this week in their final two regions games.

The Cowgirls lost at Delta earlier in the season when they started the game ice cold. It was the opposite last week at home, when Kanab’s Shaylee McDonald hit a three-pointer just four seconds into the game to propel the Cowgirls to an 18-6 lead after one. Midway through the first McDonald hit Kaitlin Glover on two fast breaks that resulted in layups for Glover.  With 50 seconds left in the first, McDonald grabbed a rebound, went coast to coast, and dropped in a five-foot jumper for a 15-3 Kanab lead. 

After a Delta three-pointer, McDonald bombed another long one from the top of the key with five seconds left, and Kanab led 18-6 after one.

Delta went on a 7-0 run to start the second stanza to get them within five points, until Lacey Glover hit a trey from the wing with 4:33 left. Delta stayed within five to seven points, until the Cowgirls surged late in the period. With Kanab leading 23-18, Kaitlin Glover hit a bucket and Aliesha Houston made a tough shot under the hoop for two more. McDonald finished the first half by banking in a three-pointer at the buzzer for a 30-18 lead at the break.

Aliesha Houston owned the third quarter, at least the first part of it, as she drilled three 3-pointers in the first five minutes. Her last trey gave Kanab a 45-24 lead. A three-point play by McDonald with 2:10 left in the third gave the Cowgirls their biggest lead of the game 48-26. The Rabbits closed the period with another 7-0 run to trail 48-33 heading into the final quarter of action. 

The big turning point in the game came with 5:59 left when Aliesha Houston fouled out of the game. Kanab seemed to have the game in hand with a 15-point lead 50-35.  Delta whittled it down to 10 points, 52-42, when three straight turnovers by Kanab gave the Rabbits new life. With three minutes left, Delta was miraculously down by only four points, 52-48. 

A needed basket by Channing Jackson boosted the lead back to six. A Delta basket and one of two free throws and Delta was within three. With 1:09 left, Delta’s Sidney Springer made two free throws and the Rabbits were only down by one 54-53.

Kaitlin Glover made one of two free throws, then picked up a huge rebound after a Delta miss. She made one of two again and Kanab was up 56-53 with 33 seconds left in the game. 

With 20 seconds on the clock, Kaitlin Glover came up with another big rebound. This time she missed the front end of a one-and-one and Delta rebounded. With 14 seconds to go, Delta’s Dani Finlinson was fouled on a three-point attempt. She calmly sank all three to tie the game at 56-56.

Coach Mickey Houston put the ball in McDonald’s hands and she delivered, drawing a foul on a drive to the hoop with six seconds left. After missing two free throws earlier in the quarter, McDonald swished these two for a 58-56 lead.

Delta inbounded the ball, drove the length of the court, and missed a shot at the buzzer. The Cowgirls prevailed!

Coach Houston said after the game, “When we lost Aliesha, I knew we would miss her senior leadership. I was hoping we could hang on.”

McDonald led Kanab with 19 points, while making three from downtown. Kaitlin Glover scored 17 and pulled down some huge rebounds down the stretch. Aliesha Houston added 11, with three treys of her own.

The game with Beaver on Thursday night was a little easier on Coach Houston, as Kanab jumped out to an 18-9 lead after one and never looked back, winning by 20. 

Beaver tried to make a game of it in the second period, and trailed 27-21 at the break. The Cowgirls scored 30 in the second half, while holding the Beavers to 16, and won 57-37.

Kaitlin Glover led the Cowgirls with 21 points, while McDonald and Alisha Houston added 11 apiece.

If Kanab can defeat Millard and Parowan this week, they will enter the state play-in game as the #1 seed from Region 13.