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Snow’s Sydney Pilling drives to the lane in the Lady Badgers’ victory over Southern Idaho last Thursday. Snow won by the score 86-62.

Lady Badgers share first place after beating So. Idaho 86-62

 

By James Tilson

 

02-28-2019

 

EPHRAIM—Making history, the Snow College women’s basketball team secured a share of the Scenic West Athletic Conference title last Thursday by defeating Southern Idaho 86-62.

“We are definitely playing our best basketball of the season,” said Head Coach Mike Russell. “Despite being limited with bodies, the kids we are playing are performing at a high level.”

By winning on Thursday, the Lady Badgers won a share of the conference title for the first time since 2001. They finished with a final record of 21-8, and 9-3 in the conference. The Lady Badgers have also won 9 of their last 10 games.

Their game against the Golden Eagle was an example of what the Lady Badgers have building towards all season—a strong, balanced inside-outside game that features the reliable rebounding and scoring of Megan Carr and Savannah Domgaard, alongside the 3-point scoring of Sydney Pilling, Savannah Lucero and Paige Farnsworth.

“We shot the ball extremely well,” Coach Russell said, “and our inside game was on point, as well. I think we will be a tough team to beat come tournament time because we are so balanced. Our team is chomping at the bit to play this weekend; I would say they are more than ready.”

Pilling and Domgaard both lead their team in scoring with 24 points apiece. Pilling also was 6-10 from 3-point range, and Domgaard pulled down a whopping 17 rebounds.

The Lady Badgers will have the No. 2 seed for the Region 18 Tournament this weekend in Price, since the Lady Bruins of Salt Lake hold the tie-breaker between the teams. The Lady Badgers will face Southern Idaho again on Friday at noon. If they win that game, they will face the winner of SLCC and CNCC/USU-E on Saturday at 5 p.m.

The winner of the tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NJCAA National Tournament in March. Even if the Lady Badgers get to the finals and lose, there is still a chance they could get an at-large bid to the national tournament. “We don’t’ want to find out however,” said Russell. “We’d rather just take care of business and win the whole thing.”

Templars fall in play offs, take fourth in 3A

 

By Matt Harris

 

02-28-2019

 

Manti’s Adam Huff goes up for two of his team high 16 points in last Friday’s semifinal loss to Morgan, with the final score 48-41.

RICHFIELD—The Manti boys basketball season could best be described as a cruise on I-15 if it had traffic lights and intersections.

For all the beautiful drives purring along at 75 miles per hour, there were plenty of brake-screeching moments running into red lights. If one can imagine how inconvenient and frustrating that would be in real life, welcome to Templar basketball.

The Templars hit the skids for the second time in an otherwise brilliant season last weekend, falling to Region 13 champion Morgan in the 3A semifinals on Friday night, 48-41, and losing again Saturday in the third-place game to region foe Emery, 78-73.

The Templars finished fourth in 3A this season, while Morgan went on to defeat Richfield, 68-54, and claim the 3A title.

Manti kicked things off in the playoffs with an impressive win over Region-14 champion Providence Hall, 74-56. The Patriots had one of the best players in the state, Marcus Sherwood, but Manti suffocated his supporting cast. Sherwood finished with 24 points and six rebounds but couldn’t make an impact on the offensive rebounding.

“Our key was that we knew that Sherwood was going to score,” Coach Devin Shakespear said. “We didn’t want to give the supporting cast anything else…they do a really good job passing out of their bigs.”

The Templars held Providence Hall to three offensive rebounds, which Shakespear said was “huge.”

More impressive, Sherwood was not even statistically the best player on the court. That title went to Manti sophomore Grady Thompson, who dominated the Patriots to the tune of 25 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

Big brother Mason Thompson pulled in 14 points, while junior Connor Christiansen scored a season high 13 points.

“[Grady] had an exceptional game,” Shakespear said. “Guys rallied around and did a good job supporting him with defense and obviously keeping things moving.”

Next the Templars next faced Morgan. The Trojans had been playing shockingly good defense over their previous four games, not allowing any opponents to score more than 48 points. The had allowed an average of only 37.5 points per game during the playoffs to that point.

Any expectation Manti had of breaking Morgan’s defense quickly faded when the Trojans led 18-12 after the first quarter and held the Templars to under 20 points in the first half.

“We got some early looks that didn’t fall,” Shakespear said, “and we…got down pretty quick…At that point, fighting back, down eight or 10 points, I don’t know if guys rushed a little bit, because we actually had a lot of really good looks.”

In the second half, Manti showed plenty more fight. After falling behind by double digits late in the third quarter, they were pretty desperate to get back in the game.

Senior and leading-scorer Adam Huff came alive for the Templars, sinking three 3-pointers to push his scoring total to 16, while a 3-pointer from junior Kevin Clark as time expired in the third made it a four-point game with all the momentum going for Manti.

Junior Travis Thomson nailed a finger roll layup to make it a two-point game, 37-35, on the first possession of the fourth quarter and minutes later brought it within two points again on a pump-fake layup below the hoop.

Tragically, each time the Templars got close, Morgan sank just one more heartbreaking shot to keep the game out of reach until the very end.

“I’m really proud of our guys,” Shakespear said. “They worked their guts out and gave us a chance to still win, but we fell short. Gotta give Morgan credit; they did an exceptional job defending us.”

Huff finished as Manti’s leading scorer with his 16 points in the first three quarters, and was the only Templar to score over 10 points. The Templars shot a stale 6-21 from the 3-point line.

Manti followed up the effort with a solid performance in the third-place game against Emery but came up just short against the Spartans. Mason Thompson went down early with an ankle sprain, which unglued the flow of the Templar offense.

Mason Thompson, Huff, and senior Dallin Cox gave their best curtain call in their final games as Templars as they scored 18, 18, and 12, respectively, while Manti provided a look at the future with another stunning all-around performance from Grady Thompson, who scored 10 points and grabbed 18 rebounds.

Manti finished 20-7 overall this season and took third in region. Next year they move to Region 14 along with North Sanpete. Huff finished his senior season as a top-10 scorer in the state for 3A, while Grady Thompson was a top-10 rebounder.

“When you can win 20 games, with the schedule we had,” Shakespear said, “that’s a win…Reality is, we had a really good season. It was a really fun team to coach.”

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Following last two victories, Badgers have a good shot at Region 18 title

 

By James Tilson

 

02-21-2019

 

SALT LAKE CITY—With two more victories last week, the Snow College men’s basketball team moved into first place in the Scenic West Athletic conference and set up a winner take all game with Southern Idaho tonight in the Horne Activity Center.

“It’s a big game on Thursday,” said Head Coach Rob Neilson. “The winner is the region champ, and will get the top seed in the tournament.”

The Badgers moved to 23-6 overall, and 8-3 in the SWAC. They have a one-game lead over Southern Idaho, who the Badgers play in their last regular season game. With a win, the Badgers will win the conference outright, and secure the No. 1 seed in the Region 18 Tournament. The winner of the conference tournament will also secure an automatic bid to the NJCAA National Tournament.

To make the victories even sweeter, the win on Saturday was against Snow’s arch-rival, Salt Lake Community College. By winning on Saturday, the Badgers completed a season sweep of the Bruins, a first in program history.

“It’s big to beat a quality program like SLCC,” said Neilson. “It’s the first time in many years to beat them more than once!”

The victory against SLCC also marked a break-out for Truman Moore, who had struggled somewhat in recent games. Against the Bruins, he tied with Brayden Johnson for high score with 15 points, and grabbed a team-high 6 rebounds. “Truman is being more aggressive on both ends. He’s getting more touches and hitting shots. It’s really big for us when he is rebounding well.”

Winning four of their last five games, the Badgers are peaking at the right time for the conference tournament. “We are playing well right now. We’re playing together and moving without the ball much better. But we have to maintain tough play. We are very good when we play hard.”

The Badgers face Southern Idaho tonight in the Horne Activity Center, tip-off at 7:30 p.m.

Two Sanpete wrestlers advance to finals in 3A

 

By Benjamin Thornberg

 

02-21-2019

 

OREM—One Templar and one Hawk made the finals of the 3A state wrestling tournament last weekend at Utah Valley University.

Damon Mayfield of Manti, in the 160 pound weight class, and Dalton Anderson of North Sanpete, in the 285 pound weight class, both made the finals in their respective weight classes, and both placed second in the state.

Also placing for Manti was Seni Latu, who placed fourth in the 195 pound weight class. Early in the year, Manti Head Coach Ryan Fowles expressed confidence in both wrestlers being able to advance to the finals in their classifications.

From North Sanpete, Luiz Rodriguez placed fifth in the 170 pound weight class.

Manti’s Damon Mayfield, seen here second from the left, accepts the award for second place in the 160 pound weight class of the 3A state wrestling tournament. The tournament was held last Friday and Saturday at the UCCU Center on the campus of Utah Valley University.

North Sanpete’s Dalton Anderson won second place in the 285 pound weight class of the 3A state wrestling tournament. The tournament was held last Friday and Saturday at the UCCU Center on the campus of Utah Valley University.

Title drifts out of Lady Badgers reach with Saturday loss

 

By James Tilson

 

02-21-2019

 

SALT LAKE CITY—Snow College women’s basketball team’s dreams of clinching an outright Scenic West Athletic Conference regular season title drifted away on Saturday, as the Lady Badgers lost to Salt Lake Community College 61-55.

The Lady Badgers won their last game against Utah State University – Eastern on Thursday, 66-60, to take the lead in the SWAC race with only two games left. If the Lady Badgers could have defeated the Lady Bruins on Saturday, they would have clinched the SWAC regular season title, and the No. 1 seed in the Region 18 Tournament.

“It was definitely tough,” said Head Coach Mike Russell about the loss to SLCC. “Defensively we did not do what we needed to do. We gave up too many points in the paint, and we did not rebound the ball. Lack of depth, fatigue, a bad quarter at the wrong time, giving up 19 turnovers, all played a part in our loss.”

Through the first half of the game against the Lady Bruins, Snow maintained a lead and looked like the better team. However, even in the first half, Snow allowed SLCC to stay in the game with a plethora of unforced turnovers that lead to easy SLCC possessions.

Coming back in the third quarter after leading 33-29 at half, the Lady Badgers seemingly hit a wall, and their offense fell apart. They were outscored 6-17, and let SLCC take a 7-point lead, 39-46.

In the fourth quarter, the lady Badgers attempted a game comeback, but could never completely close the gap, never getting closer than 3 points.

Savannah Lucero and Sydney Pilling both had 11 points, and Paige Farnsworth (breaking out of a mini-slump) contributed 10. Megan Carr just missed getting a double-double by scoring 9 points and pulling down 9 rebounds.

The Lady Badgers’ last regular and home game of the season is tonight at 5:30 p.m. versus Southern Idaho. There is still plenty for the Lady Badgers to play for in their last game. “We are tied for first with SLCC, and could still win a share of the conference championship with a victory Thursday,” Russell said. “It would be our first conference championship since 2001.”

With a win, and a loss by SLCC, the Lady Badgers could even get the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament. A win would net the Lady Badgers no less than the No. 2 seed. The winner of the conference tournament would get an automatic bid to the NJCAA National Tournament in March.

Lady Hawks season ends in first round of playoffs against Juab

 

By Matt Harris

 

02-21-2019

 

OREM—North Sanpete girls hoops unlikely playoff season ended in the first round at Orem High School.

The Lady Hawks fell to longtime rival Juab of Region 14, 41-24, as they struggled to find any form of offense from outside.

“Juab really packed the paint against us, which obviously worked,” Head Coach Taylor Christensen said. “Outside shooting was our biggest weakness. If we had some more outside shooting, we could have been a lot more successful this season.”

North Sanpete scored only seven field goals in the entire contest. Senior Tiffany Peckham led the flock with nine points. The Lady Hawks had many opportunities at the free throw line as well, shooting 9-17 from the line as a team.

Though a bad second quarter put the Lady Hawks down big at halftime, a solid third put wind in their sails. Senior Tierei Laupapa, a face not often seen for North Sanpete, gave a post presence that was missing in the first half. Laupapa scored five points, all of them in a 9-0 run that brought the Hawks within eight points.

North Sanpete got no closer as Juab’s Bayli Heap put the Wasps on her back and pushed against the Hawks’ defense for a plethora of fouls.

North Sanpete finished their season with a record of 4-18 overall, 3-9 in region.

“The main goal I set this season was to make basketball enjoyable for these girls,” Christensen said. “It’s hard when you aren’t having success to lose sight of the fact that this is a game, so I mainly just wanted the girls to enjoy their time playing basketball.”

North Sanpete played with little in the way of expectations this year, but made the most of it on the efforts of a hardworking senior class. The fruits of their labors were a playoff appearance and a season sweep in their rivalry with Manti.

“This season was such a great experience,” Christensen said. “I am extremely proud of each and every girl on this team. Each of them has grown so much as players and as people… I am so proud of these seniors; they came in and just worked. They set a great example for all of us.”

Seniors Peckham, Laupapa, Linzy Flinders, and Aubree Ison now depart from the program. Though the offseason will tell in the end, North Sanpete figures to be led by a very young core next year with soon-to-be junior Graciee Christiansen being the statistical leader among returning players.

For Coach Christensen, the goal remains to “continue to bring the fun back into basketball. Show kids how fun it is to work hard.”

Gunnison’s Parx Bartholomew drives for a layup in the Bulldogs first round playoff game with Rowland Hall. The Bulldogs carried themselves well facing the Region 17 champions, succumbing in the final seconds, 62-60.

Bulldogs fight well against Rowland Hall

 

By Benjamin Thornberg

 

02-21-2019

 

EPHRAIM—Gunnison Valley High School boys’ basketball team lost its final game of the season to Region 17 champ Rowland Hall last Saturday in the first round of the 2A playoffs, 62-60.

Going up against the nearly undefeated Rowland Hall, the Bulldogs fought toe-to-toe with the Winged Lions the entire game, and nearly put the game into overtime. However, one quick shot in the final seconds gave the Winged Lions the win over Gunnison.

Despite falling behind in the early game, Gunnison did not give up. The Bulldogs rode an advantage in free throw shots, along with a balanced inside-outside offensive game plan.

Late in the last quarter, Rowland Hall just couldn’t keep Gunnison off their tails. The Bulldogs pushed hard in the final quarter, and tied the game with only seconds left. Rowland Hall had possession of the ball to end the game. However, Rowland Hall converted their last second play, and secured the win.

Janzen Keisel and Parx Bartholomew led the way for Gunnison as they have all season. Keisel scored a game high 27 points, and gave the Bulldog’s 14 rebounds. Bartholomew put up 12 points and 6 rebounds.

Gunnison finished the season at 10-11 overall, and 4-8 in Region 18, and finished fifth in the region.

Lady Bulldogs lose by just five against Duchesne

 

By Benjamin Thornberg

 

02-21-2019

 

Gunnison’s Kezzley Winn drives into the lane in the Lady Bulldogs first round playoff game against Duchesne last Saturday at the Horne Activity Center at Snow College. Gunnison lost to Duchesne 39-34.

EPHRAIM—The Gunnison Valley girls’ basketball team put forth a mighty effort in the last quarter against Duchesne in the first round of the 2A playoffs, before finally losing 39-34.

“I am proud of this team and everything they accomplished,” said Head Coach Melissa Sorensen. “In our game against Duchesne, we did not play consistent enough. We started off strong, and made a good run toward the end of the game. We just had an energy let down in the middle.”

Coming into the game, Sorensen knew her team would have to manage the significant size advantage for the Lady Eagles. The Lady Bulldogs started the game by utilizing their quickness to force several turnovers, and employed a pesky defense. It was enough to gain a 9-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

But Duchesne’s size began to take effect in the second quarter, and the Lady Eagles took control. The Lady Bulldogs had a very difficult time trying to score in the paint, and gave up a lot of fouls trying to defend the larger Lady Eagles.

Behind 10 points to begin the fourth quarter, the Lady Bulldogs came out with renewed energy and mounted a comeback. Gunnison cut into the Duchesne lead, but could not get any closer than 5 points. Duchesne displayed a tough defense to stymy Gunnison’s comeback efforts, pressuring the Lady Bulldogs into 11 turnovers.

The Lady Bulldogs had several players contribute to their efforts. Sheridan Sorensen was leading scorer of the game with 11 points. Kezzley Winn contributed 6 points and Taryn Thompson added 5 points.

“Even though the season did not end how we would have liked, it has still been a good season,” said Sorensen. “We qualified for the eight team state tournament. Our program as a whole, with the varsity, JV and C team, had a winning record. The varsity beat North Sevier for the first time in 20 years. There were many good things that happened.”

Gunnison Valley finished the year with a 10-12 record overall, and 3-8 in Region 18, good for fifth place.

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Women tied for first with SLCC in conference

 

By James Tilson

 

02-14-2019

 

Snow’s Savannah Lucero goes for the bucket in the Lady Badgers’ game against Colorado Northwestern last Saturday. Snow swept Colorado Northwestern last week in two games, 76-56 and 77-51.

EPHRAIM—The Snow College women’s basketball team swept Colorado Northwestern to keep pace in the Scenic West Athletic Conference race, remaining tied with Salt Lake Community College for first place.

The Lady Badgers played CNCC twice last week, traveling to Rangely, Colo. on Thursday, and hosting on Saturday. In the first game, Snow beat the Lady Spartans by 20 points, 76-56. And then on Saturday they did it again by a larger margin, 77-51.

But don’t tell Lady Badger Head Coach Mike Russell that his team had convincing wins last week. “Our wins over CNCC were a bit sloppy,” he said.

“We executed better on Saturday, and we played a lot of kids trying to keep healthy, but our game in Rangely was pretty disappointing from a defensive standpoint. We just didn’t do a good enough job following the scouting report.”

His team’s health has become a major concern for Russell, since the Lady Badgers have gone through a series of season-ending injuries lately. Rachel Richards suffered an ACL injury against Southern Idaho in January, and had surgery Feb. 8. And Lourdes Gonzalez fractured her hand in the game against USU-E on Feb. 2.

However, their replacements have stepped up and had great performances. Sydney Pilling has upped her production at the point guard position, putting up some incredible numbers in the time since Richards’ injury. And against CNCC, backup center Micah Gustafson had two double-digit scoring performances.

“Micah is playing more minutes due to the loss of Gonzalez” said Russell. “Micah is next off the bench and she’s done an excellent job in her new role.”

In the first game against CNCC, Gustafson was the leading scorer with 20 points, and also had 10 rebounds. She followed that up with 15 points and 9 rebounds on Saturday.

“Overall, our team has adjusted very well to the injuries we’ve had to overcome,” Russell said. “‘Next player up’ has been our motto and you never know when it’ll be your turn, so you have to be ready. Everyone that’s been called upon to play more minutes and contribute has done a great job doing so.”

With the wins, Snow improved to 19-7 overall, and 7-2 in SWAC play. Th at puts them tied for first place with Salt Lake CC with three games left in the regular season.

“Overall I feel like we are playing well, but I do believe we have more left in the tank… meaning we have more to give effort-wise on both ends of the floor. We have been executing well offensively, which is great to see. Without talking too much about it, our players definitely know what’s at stake and what we are playing for. However, we will continue to take it one game at a time.”

This week, the Lady Badgers travel to USU-E on Thursday and SLCC on Saturday. Then next week, they will host Southern Idaho on Feb. 21 for the last home game of the season.

Wasatch surges back to win column again, looking for bid to nationals

 

By Matt Harris

 

02-14-2019

 

GRAND ISLAND, NE—In the midst of a historic season gone awry with ill-timed losses, Wasatch Academy boy’s hoops had one shot left to get a big statement win for the 2019 resume. And they did it. In style.

The Tigers notched a hugely meaningful victory, 65-53, over No. 8 Sunrise Christian Academy, Kans., in the feature event of the nationally-renown Heartland Hoops Classic, and with terrific efficiency to boot.

Wasatch Academy shot 54 percent from the field as a team on less than 50 attempts, and senior Marvin “Tre” Williams shot the lights out, leading his team in scoring with 19 points on 8-10 shooting. Junior forwards Caleb Lohner and Mady Sissoko scored 15 and 10 points, respectively, and Sissoko came one rebound shy of a double-double.

Dominating throughout the game, the Tigers led the Buffaloes by as much as 21 points at the end of the third quarter. Sunrise outscored Wasatch 2011 in the fourth, but didn’t get any closer.

“They came out ready to play,” Wasatch Academy Coach David Evans told local media. “It’s a little hard, I think, to play when we got up more than we anticipated. Then we started playing tight. But that’s a fantastic win for us. Sunrise is such a good team, so well coached, such good players. We’re excited about it.” Evans went on to call the game “one of the best wins we’ve had all year.”

The Tigers couldn’t have asked for a better debut in the Classic, topping a team that has been in it for three consecutive years.

The win certainly had an effect on national rankings. Monday’s new MaxPreps.com Xcellent 25 polled Wasatch Academy back in at No. 18. Computer rankings for MaxPreps moved the Tigers up to No. 14.

Biding their time to see if they will get invited to the GEICO Nationals for the fourth straight year, Wasatch finishes their regular season at home with a couple instate matchups, facing Jordan on Feb. 19 and Kearns on Feb. 20. Those teams are ranked No. 14 and 15 in Utah, respectively.

Manti still getting wins, but suffers first loss of season

 

By Matt Harris

 

02-14-2019

 

Manti’s Adam Huff shoots a layup for two of his game-high 22 points in the Templar’s end-of-season match up with the North Sanpete Hawks. Manti won the game 77-56.

MONROE—There’s never a great time to lose a game, but some losses are better than others.

For Manti boy’s hoops, last week’s loss against their rival South Sevier, 47-43, won’t hurt as much as a loss in the playoff s next week. But it still hurts to see Manti lose a lot more than just one game.

The Templars had their winning streak halted after seven games and lost a hold on the Region 15 title right at the very end of the regular season. The top spot for the season went to Richfield in the end.

“We played well versus [South Sevier] and had a few chances to take the lead,” Head Coach Devin Shakespear said, “…just could not get that last stop or score we needed. Yes, coming within one win of a region championship hurts, but it does give us fuel and focus us moving into the postseason.”

With the Rams leading by 12 points to start the fourth quarter, the Templars needed some momentum after being outscored in every quarter of the game. Right out of the gate, Grady Thompson knocked down a deep 3-pointer. Manti forced a turnover on the next possession, and Mason Thompson knocked down another three after three offensive boards kept the possession alive. Grady hit again on the next possession from deep, and suddenly the Rams’ 12-point lead became three.

It took all game long for South Sevier’s leading scorer to get going, but Kaetz King finally scored his first points of the game with a 3-pointer to kill the Manti scoring run and go up by 6 points. Mason hit from outside again, and Manti basketball was in full effect. Mason struck again from 3-point land with 2:35 remaining to make it a 1-point game, 38-37, but then King killed the Templars again with another three. Mason would not be denied, hitting another three with 1:43 left to make it 41-40.

Just as the Templars looked primed to steal the win away, South Sevier caught Manti sleeping on defense, finding an open man right below the hoop and taking a wide-open midrange jumper for an easy 4-points. The Templars couldn’t overcome the late defensive lapse as the Rams sealed the victory with a pair of free throws.

Mason led Manti with 14 points, 12 of them coming from his four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Senior Adam Huff also scored in double figures with 10. Defensively, the Templars held King well under his season average with 6 points.

Following the losing effort against the Rams, Manti pitched a solid closer for the regular season, easily taking down North Sanpete, 77-56. The Templars led the Hawks by as much as 27 points at halftime before letting off the gas. Huff led all scorers with 22 points while complemented by 11 points from Grady Thompson and 14 points from junior Travis Thomson.

“We talked all week about how to get a quick start, feeling like that would be a key to this game,” Shakespear said. “They had a big crowd out, and we wanted to take control early.”

The Templars qualified for the 3A playoffs and will face Grantsville on Saturday at Orem High School for the first round.

North Sanpete ended their season 4-17 with a 0-12 region record. In a game that got away from the Hawks in a hurry, Head Coach Cris Hoopes gave his seniors the chance to give their all for North Sanpete one last time. Seniors Wyatt Ison, Ashton Osborne, Alan Oldroyd and Jamal Mayoul led the team in scoring with 12, 11, 10, and 9 points, respectively. Junior and leading scorer Scott Hatch was quiet on the night with only 4 points.

Lady Hawks win enough to send them to state playoffs

 

By Matt Harris

 

02-14-2019

 

MANTI—In a season dedicated to rebuilding a winning culture for North Sanpete girls basketball, the Lady Hawks aren’t done just yet.

Despite a 4-17 overall record, North Sanpete’s third region win, a 45-40 victory over Manti to end the season, was enough to send Head Coach Taylor Christensen to the playoff s in her first year.

Against Manti, the Lady Hawks improving brand of basketball was on display against the Lady Templars. North Sanpete powered its way through the first half and led by 13 points after sinking the opening shot of the third quarter.

Manti wasn’t ready to die just yet. Head Coach Brennon Schweikart forced a disruptive full-court press on the Hawks, translating into a slew of turnovers by North Sanpete just trying to get the ball up the court. On the offensive end, the Lady Templars couldn’t get shots to fall, but kept their scoring going with plenty of contact and free-throw opportunities. The Templars shaved North Sanpete’s lead to just 8 points with some key shots in the final minute of the third.

To open the fourth quarter, Manti sophomore Kassidy Alder beat her defender to nail a jumper and trim the deficit to five. North Sanpete slowly started to wear away the full-court defense by drawing contact and earning a slew of their own free shots. Both North Sanpete and Manti began to make their shots down the stretch, each team scoring over 10 points in the final quarter, but North Sanpete’s consistent lead was too much to overcome.

In the final regular season game for both teams, seniors shined as Aubree Ison of North Sanpete led all scorers with 15 points while Tiffany Peckham chipped in 12 more. Senior Ashton Wood, one of only two seniors on the Templars’ squad this season, put forth a swan song of her own, pacing Manti with 12 points.

“I cannot say enough about our seniors,” Schweikart said. “To be a senior and deal with a new coach and change of culture is really difficult. They were able to take it in stride and work to buy in. Ashton has had a great year and has improved tremendously. Her offense is on the rise, and defensively, she is putting together the technical side along with her unmatchable effort. She gave this program her everything.” The Hawks and Templars combined for 55 free throw attempts and a combined 56 percent from the line. Manti went 12-22 from the line in their final game, a common theme for the struggling Templars, Schweikart said. “You cannot win in high school basketball if you miss free throws.”

The playoff brackets are set for 3A girls hoops. North Sanpete is set to face rival Juab in the first round on Friday, Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Orem High School. Juab placed second in Region 14 with a 10-2 record, 15-6 overall, and trailing only Carbon, who went undefeated in region play.

Juab will enter next week’s matchup heavily favored. The Lady Wasps play a stifling brand of defense, holding opponents in region to an average of merely 27.6 points per game. They are led by senior guard Bayli Heap, averaging just over 10 points per game.

The season is over for Manti, but they look forward to an extra year of experience for a large core of underclassmen. “Often times, these young ladies were continually told what they couldn’t do,” Schweikart said. “We embraced it and learned how to fight and work to try and win. We fought and surprised a lot of people and teams…Flat out, our girls are still learning how to win.”

Lady Bulldogs beat Wolves, lose to Beavers

 

By Benjamin Thornberg

 

02-14-2019

 

GUNNISON—The Lady Bulldogs beat the North Sevier Wolves 41-30 in their rivalry game, but lost by a wide margin to Beaver, 73-41, in two home games last week.

Thanks to leading scorers Paige King and Jaida King, who scored 15 and 12 respectively, and Taryn Thompson with 8 points and 8 rebounds, the Gunnison Valley girls’ basketball team beat their region rivals North Sevier last Tuesday.

The Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a 9-6 lead in the first quarter, and did not look back. The Wolves couldn’t keep up with the Lady Bulldogs.

In the conclusion of the regular season, the Lady Bulldogs faced Beaver at home and ended the game with an emphatic loss, 73-34. Paige King and Jaida King once again led the Lady Bulldogs with 9 and 8 points. With the win over North Sevier, Gunnison Valley earned the Region 18, No. 5 seed in the 2A playoffs, pushing North Sevier to sixth place in Region 18.

The Lady Bulldogs will face Region 16 No. 2 seed Duchesne at Snow College’s Horne Activity Center in Ephraim on Friday, Feb. 15 at 8:40 p.m.