In a full-tilt battle from the start, one of the youngest players made the biggest difference.
Cedar freshman Japrix Weaver scored a game-high 13 points, including a 3-pointer that got the scoring started in overtime, and the Lady Reds held on for a 52-46 win over the Tigers to improve to 6-3 in Region 9 play.
The effort of the younger Weaver was welcome after older sister Dream Weaver had to leave the game in the fourth quarter with a concussion when she took a hard fall to the floor going after a loose ball.
“We were trying to run a play to her side,” Cedar head coach John Elison said of Weaver. “(Jayden Langford) had four fouls when she was guarding Japrix, so we wanted her to go to the basket. She stepped up when she had to.”
Cedar had stretched its lead to 36-28 late in the third quarter, but Hurricane (4-5) used a 10-2 run that tied the game at 38-38 early in the fourth after Kylie Stevens hit one of her two 3-pointers. Jayden Langford, who led the Tigers with 12 points, would hit two at the free-throw line with 1 minute, 51 seconds left in regulation, Courtnie Lamb answered 17 seconds later on the Lady Reds’ next possession to complete the eighth lead change over the final three quarters.
Langford would make one of two from the line with 55.9 seconds to play to tie the game, then Japrix Weaver had a chance to put her team up again with only 39.6 seconds remaining.
Weaver would miss the front end of the one-and-one, and Carley Davis missed the put-back attempt. After a turnover, the Tigers had the last chance to earn the win in regulation, but couldn’t get a shot away before the final horn.
“Our coaches always tell us in our timeout talks to work together, and that’s what we do best,” Japrix said. “When one of us goes down, we have to fight harder for them.”
Not only did Cedar’s freshman hit a 3-pointer that broke the tie, Weaver, who had seven of the Lady Reds’ 11 points in the extra period, added a jumper that broke a 46-46 tie, and Hurricane wouldn’t score again.
“It sure gave me a lot of confidence,” Weaver said of her overtime surge. “We knew this game was ours.”
Cedar would finish the regular season with a wave of momentum brought on by a 59-39 road win over Dixie on Feb. 9. Davis led three players in double figures with 16 points, Lindsey Robinson added 14 and Sara Pearson had 11.
Cedar took control by outscoring Dixie 27-11 between the second and third quarters.
The Lady Reds finished with a 7-3 Region 9 record and 16-5 overall. They will host Logan, the No. 3 seed from Region 11, in the opening round of the 3A playoffs Saturday at 5 p.m.
CEDAR 52, HURRICANE 46, OT
Hurricane 12 11 9 9 5 -- 46
Cedar 14 8 14 5 11 -- 52
Hurricane – Gubler 7, Stevens 8, Langford 12, Homer 7, Christensen 2, Hirschi 9, Lyons 1. Totals 16 10-19 46. 3-pointers – Gubler 1, Stevens 2, Hirschi 1.
Cedar – D. Weaver 6, Robinson 6, Lamb 9, E. Pearson 2, S. Pearson 5, J. Weaver 13, Davis 4, Elison 7. Totals 16 16-19 52. 3-pointers – Lamb 2, S. Pearson 1, J. Weaver 1.
Cedar 59, Dixie 39
3A State Playoffs
Logan at Cedar, 5 p.m.