TAYLORSVILE — With time ticking away and her team's 4A girls basketball quarterfinal game tied 33-33 in double overtime, Springville’s Savannah Park drove hard to the basket against Bonneville, only to be knocked to the floor. Fortunately for the Red Devils, the Lakers were whistled for a foul.
As Park rose to her feet, she immediately clenched her fist and gave a confident pump of the arm.
No trepidation of the impending free throws and no lingering on the hard fall to the floor.
She’s Savannah Park. She’s got this.
“Savannah lives for moments like that. It’s when she’s at her best,” said Springville coach Camie Oakey.
True to form, Park stepped to the line and calmly sank two foul shots to give her team a 35-33 lead with just 3.2 seconds left in the second overtime period. Bonneville had one last chance, but Courtney Porter’s half-court shot glanced off the rim as Springville punched its ticket to the semifinal round of the 4A state playoffs.
As the final score indicated, Wednesday’s game was hardly an offensive masterpiece by either squad. It was, however, an extremely physical and hard-fought defensive struggle that had both sides exhausted — both physically and emotionally — at the end.
For Springville, it was the school's third overtime session in just two state playoff games after defeating Highland 66-60 in OT Monday.
“We’re used to it going down to the very end. It wasn’t just Monday, but all season,” Oakey said. “I think that helps us.”
It also helps having Park at the helm.
The senior guard has shown a knack for stepping up big in key moments, and did again against the Lakers.
Park scored her team’s final seven points in regulation to help send the game to overtime. Her biggest shot was perhaps a 3-pointer from the corner to give Springville a 28-26 lead with 1:26 remaining in regulation.
“She wants the ball in her hands during those moments and she almost always delivers. She‘s like ice in those situations,” Oakey said.
The first overtime period saw just one foul shot made by each team, and the schools went to the second overtime tied at 33-33. Park’s two foul shots proved to be the only points in the second overtime.
This game was about defense, however, and perhaps the biggest contributions on that end came from Springville guard Lindsay Johnson. The seldom-used junior finished with just a single point, but helped keep Bonneville’s best player in check down the stretch.
“She doesn’t play a lot of minutes all the time, but she can defend,” Oakey said. “She came in and she shut Courtney Porter down in the second half and in overtime.”
With the win Springville advances to the semifinals, where it will take on Timpanogos Friday.