The Cedar Lady Reds were playing without its head coach, who had to sit out after picking up two technical fouls in the previous game.
Despite scoring only five points in the fourth quarter, they had enough to survive a furious run by their cross-town rival.
Tara Shipp led the way with nine points, and Alainey Carter came up with a steal on the game’s final possession to help Cedar escape with a 35-32 victory over Canyon View on Tuesday night.
With the win, Cedar moved into sole possession of third place in Region 9 at 5-2, a game behind co-leaders Snow Canyon and Desert Hills, who also won.
Running the team in the absence of head coach John Elison, assistant Eric Fieldstead said it was stressful to see a 10-point fourth-quarter lead nearly get away.
“That’s what happens when you play a good team,” Fieldstead said. “Canyon View put the pressure on us, and we didn’t handle it as well as we should have.
The Lady Reds took a 32-22 lead, matching its largest of the game, two minutes into the final quarter before the Falcons (2-5 Region 9, 9-9 overall) began to chip away. After Tara Shipp made two free throws to give Cedar a 34-28 lead with 2:41 left, Canyon View got baskets from Kenzie Evans and Josie Platt to cut the deficit to two with 57.8 seconds to play.
Sabrina Ziegler set up Platt’s basket with a key offensive rebound after Evans missed a free throw that would have completed a 3-point play.
K.T. Kastanes made a free throw on the Lady Reds’ next possession, but the Falcons missed three chances to tie the game and force overtime.
“We struggled on offense the whole game, so we had to definitely buckle down on defense,” Shipp said. “We couldn’t let any of Canyon View’s 3-point shooters get a shot off.”
When Javlyn Weaver missed two free throws with 7.5 seconds left, it gave Canyon View its final chance, But Carter stepped in and swiped a pass intended for Platt near the 3-point line as the clock finally ran out.
Platt led all scorers with 11 points for the Falcons, and the frustration of Tuesday’s loss was evident.
“We need to work on executing plays and what needs to be done at certain times,” Platt said.
Cedar had built a 10-point lead in the first half, but Platt put in five straight points for Canyon View to cut the margin to 20-15 at the half. In the third quarter, a Jaycee Slack 3-pointer kept the Falcons within striking distance at 25-20, but Courtney Morley hit a free throw and added a running bank shot that fell in at the buzzer to put the Lady Reds up 30-21 heading to the fourth.