The Kanab High School girls basketball team lost a heart-breaker to Beaver by two points, 54-52, in the 2A State Girls Basketball Tournament last Saturday night at Weber State University. The title game was close the whole way.

Kanab led by one point, 38-37, going into the final period. After Beaver took the lead 39-38, Brinley Cornell fed Jessi Anderson on a nifty pass for a layup underneath and a 40-39 Kanab lead. Two free throws by Sydnee Gillins gave the lead back to Beaver. Sidney McDonald was fouled with a little over five minutes left in the game. She converted the one and one, for a 42-41 Kanab lead. It would be the last lead of the game for Kanab.

Two more Gillins free throws, a Gillins reverse layup, followed by a Gillins’ steal and fast break layup put the Beavers ahead 47-42 with 2:45 left to play. Kassidy Glover made two free throws to get Kanab back to within three, 47-44. A Gillins drive netted two more for the Beavers. Josie Lathim answered, making two charity tosses of her own, to make it 49-46 with 1:35 left in the game.

Trying to get a steal, Kanab let almost a minute run off the clock before fouling Tavy Gale with 42 seconds left. She made one of two for a 50-46 lead.

Cornell drilled a three from the corner, getting Kanab to within one point, 50-49, with 17 seconds left. Gillens was quickly fouled and made both free throws to stretch the lead to 52-49.

After a timeout, Beaver stole the inbounds pass. A quick foul and Brittlyn Carter sank two more free throws for a 54-49 lead. Jessie Glover nailed a three from the top of the key with 2.4 seconds left to cut the deficit to 54-52. Beaver’s Carter was fouled with 0.8 seconds left. After missing the first free throw, she intentionally missed the second one, and it was over.

The game was tied at 11-11 at the end of the first quarter, and 21-21 at the half. Kassidy Glover and McDonald each hit three-pointers to start the game and give Kanab an early 6-4 lead.

Grayce Glover scored all seven of her points in the second frame. She drove the lane for two points early on, then did an athletic Eurostep and laid in another basket to cut Beaver’s lead to 17-15. After Beaver stretched their lead to five, she hit a three-pointer to cut it to 21-19. Kassidy Glover converted a one-and-one to knot the game at 21-21 at the half.

A big play came with 1:31 left in the third period when McDonald drove the lane and laid in a basket, only to be called with an offensive charging foul. This was the worst call of the game, as the Beaver girl was actually still in the air when she jumped in front of Sidney.

There was another terrible call early in the fourth when a Kanab pass was tipped into the backcourt and the official called it over and back, giving the ball to Beaver.

McDonald led Kanab with 17 points, including four from deep. Anderson netted eight points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Grayce Glover scored seven, with Cornell adding six. Jessie Glover and Kassidy Glover added five each, while Josie Lathim contributed four. Kanab hit nine of 19 three-pointers, but could only manage six two-point baskets, as they missed a lot of bunnies under the basket. Kanab kept itself in the game by making 13 of 16 free throws. Sidney McDonald and Brinley Cornell were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Tournament MVP Sydnee Gillins carried the Beavers in the final period, scoring the team’s first 14 points in the fourth, to finish with a game-high 24 points. Beaver only made two three-pointers, but they had 15 two-pointers and 18 free throws.

The tournament started with a dominating victory by the Cowgirls over Wasatch Academy, 64-44, in the first round on Thursday. Wasatch was 17-1 coming into the game, with their only loss to Beaver in their first game of the year.

Kanab trailed 17-13 after one quarter of play. The local gals got it together in the second period, outscoring Wasatch 17-7, to take a 30-24 lead at the break. Kanab continued their dominance in the second half, putting in 20 points in the third and 14 in the fourth, to Wasatch’s 11 and nine. They led 50-35 after three, and it was pretty much over.

Cornell threw down 18 points to lead Kanab’s scorers, while also snagging five rebounds, dishing off four assists and making four steals. Anderson had a huge game, recording a double-double with 12 points and 14 boards. Freshman Grayce Glover hit three three-pointers in the second quarter, and ended the game with nine points. McDonald netted seven points, grabbed eight rebounds and had four steals. Lathim scored seven, pulled down five caroms and dished off four assists. Kanab dominated on the boards, 44-23.

With the win over Wasatch, Kanab faced the #1 ranked team in the state, North Summit, on Friday afternoon. McDonald capped a furious rally late in the game, sinking a three-pointer with seven seconds left to tie the game at 44-44. The Cowgirls were down 10 points with a little over four minutes left in the game before they started their amazing comeback.

In overtime, Kanab kept the momentum going, outscoring the Lady Braves 14-5, to get the “W,” 58-49. The Cowgirls converted eight of 10 free throws in OT.

The game started with Kanab leading 10-8 after one, and trailing 18-13 at the half. The pace picked up in the second half, but North Summit pushed their lead to 32-24 after three. The Cowgirls were on fire in the fourth period, going for 20 points to knot the game and send it into OT. Trailing 38-28, Kassidy Glover hit a three-pointer, Cornell followed with a three-point play, and McDonald hit another trey, and it was now a one-point ball game 38-37.

Kassidy Glover scored 14 points, including four treys, to lead Kanab. She also had four rebounds. Cornell hit for 13 points and grabbed nine off the glass, while also snagging seven steals. McDonald scored 13 points, including three from downtown. Grayce Glover scored seven points and grabbed three boards and had two steals.

Coach Ben Luce had this to say after the tournament. “Other than a heartbreaking two-point loss in the finals, this weekend was a lot of fun. The girls have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. They were competitive. They were resilient. They battled to the very end. I can definitely say we didn’t beat ourselves. It took a very good team with remarkable performances from two players on the part of the Beavers to edge us out. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap when a team beats you three times in a season, by a total of only nine points. Our girls represented their families and our school well. I could not be more proud of these girls.”