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High school girls basketball: Skyridge defeats Riverton in overtime

The Skyridge Falcons used a late-game defensive push to complete a double-digit comeback against the Riverton Silverwolves and take the overtime win on the road Thursday, 58-52.

The game plan for the Falcons was clear. They pressed Riverton at full court and tried to force the Silverwolves to play at their pace.

The full court defense strategy for Skyridge started with moderate success, as the Silverwolves led by just two at 12-10 at the end of the first quarter.

However, in the second quarter the game started to get away from the Falcons.

Riverton pushed the ball, made quicker decisions, took higher quality shots and consistently got ahead of the full court press.

Quickly, the Riverton lead grew, and it was 27-15 at halftime.

“In the first half I almost didn’t recognize my team,” said Skyridge coach Shaylee Nielsen. “We were missing some players due to injury so we were a little out of sorts and it took them a minute to figure it out, but you have got to give Riverton a ton of credit.

“(Riverton coach Jonathan Haag) prepared them well. He knew exactly what to do with them in the full and half court and their kids just stepped up and made plays.”

After halftime, the Falcon offense started to heat up and they managed to get back within six at the end of the third quarter.

The offense was led by senior Cambree Blackham, who had 25 points, with nine of them coming from behind the arc.

“For our team it’s a 1-5 thing,” Blackham said. “In the second half we were able to come together as a team to give energy, and those hustle plays really helped us out.

“Offensively we’ve had other girls pitch in, which makes the defense pick a new girl to guard, and playing that team basketball opens it up for everyone.”

In the fourth quarter, Nielsen decided to go back to the full court defense and the Falcons stifled the Riverton offense.

Skyridge worked up a 44-40 lead late in the fourth quarter, but thanks to multiple clutch blocks and 3-pointers from Riverton’s Anna Ross, the game went into overtime.

The full court defense continued to be a massive issue for Riverton in overtime, as the Falcons made sure to cut off passing lanes and made life as difficult as possible for the Silverwolves.

Skyridge took advantage and led the entire overtime and ultimately took the win.

“We were kind of on our heels for a while in the first half, so we challenged them at halftime to get outside themselves, stop thinking so much, rely on their teammates and they responded,” Nielsen said.

“Our full court is our bread and butter, so once we get into a rhythm we thrive,” said Nielsen.

With the win, the Falcons improved to 9-3 on the season and will take on Westlake next week. 

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