The Kanab High School women’s basketball team held off a rising South Sevier squad on Saturday night to claim the 2A crown in a 47-37 battle.
It’s the first time the Kanab girls have won the state trophy since 1992.
“We have been here before. We had to win one,” coach Clint Glover said. “It’s good to do that.”
Heading into the game, South Sevier were a dark horse with plenty of boost behind them after knocking out teams with higher seeds.
“They had momentum and I’m impressed with the improvements they’ve made over the season,” Glover said. “They gave us everything we wanted. We had several girls who had to step in and make baskets.
The South Sevier girls seized on Kanab’s outside attack, allowing just two 3-pointers in the first stanza.
“When you have to rely on the 3 like we do, you have nights like this,” Glover said.
As the game progressed, Kanab’s outside shot thawed as he hit a total of nine downtown players, including four from Grayce Glover and three from schoolmate Tyler Nez.
“Once we relaxed, they came back,” Coach Glover said. “Grayce broke her nose earlier in the season and had to play through a mask, so she’s just getting back to it.”
The first quarter ended in a 10-knot, but thanks to two of 3-pointers from Grayce Glover and another from sophomore Anna Cutler, Kanab was able to get ahead and take a 22-17 lead at half-time.
“We tried to rely on our defense and we played pretty well,” Coach Glover said of the second half. “If you don’t have that girl who can crumble with the dribble, you’re in trouble. We’ve got two, and that’s really good.
Coach Glover said Grayce Glover and Cutler were key to Kanab’s success this year with their ball handling and deadly shooting skills.
“Our offense wasn’t as good tonight so we had to rely on defense,” said Grayce, who led all scoring players with 19 points.
“Not everything went in and we struggled to get into the paint with their defense. We just had to manage to beat a very good team from South Sevier.
Kanab couldn’t rest for a second as the Rams kept the pressure on throughout the game.
“They had a really good defense and a really good offense,” Cutler said. “Sometimes if they felt like they couldn’t miss a shot.”
Cutler said keeping the team’s composure was what helped them come out on top.
As the final minutes ticked away, Kanab was able to widen the gap to 10 from the foul line.
Glover completed the last 10 seconds of the clock by dribbling the ball near midfield. That’s when South Sevier’s Aspen Okerlund embraced her with a congratulatory hug.
Okerlund led the Rams with 13 points, followed by teammate Alexa Robinson with 12.
“They’re such fun girls to go up against,” Grayce said. “It’s nice to play with stylish girls who will support you while competing.”
“It was a tough game and a big team win honestly,” said Nez, who totaled nine points in the win overcoming shots that didn’t fall for her in the first half.
“I had my family in the stands who helped me learn all of that,” Nez said, adding that keeping her family in mind helped calm her nerves in the second half as she was able to get the shots she needed.
Taylor Janes scored 10 points for Kanab.
Desret News 2A Girls All-Tournament Team
MVP: Grayce Glover, Kanab
Aspen Okerlund, South Sevier
Anna Cutler, Kanab
Tyler Nose, Kanab
Alexa Robinson, South Sevier
Aubreee Lunt, Millard