In continuation of last week’s column, the ladies of the basketball court are not being forgotten.
Here are three words to give to each girls basketball team in Sanpete at the end of the winter sports season.
MANTI – Synergy Beats Seniority
In the preseason, Manti looked more talented than they had been in years, and there were senior leaders all over the court.
Ten losses and a first-round playoff exit later, something just didn’t seem to compute.
Head coach Brennon Schweikart described it at points in the season that there were struggles in putting the full game plan together each and every week. The Lady Templars won shootouts and lost shootouts. They won slugfests and lost slugfests. In a season that had a lot of good pieces, consistency was one that was missing.
In high school sports, seniors are like blue poker chips, but if you aren’t playing your cards right, it doesn’t matter how many you’ve got to play with. Schweikart’s coaching has made it so that the Lady Templars can really play, but it’s even more critical that they play together.
NORTH SANPETE – Keep at It
Head coach Taylor Christensen took inspiration from the zero-to-hero North Sanpete football team in 2018 when she took over an equally winless girls hoops squad.
After a few years, the wins are still hard to come by, but maybe there could be a new source of inspiration for the Lady Hawks to draw from simply by looking at what their male counterparts did, going from last place in region in 2020 to a region title in 2022. It all came down to development and patience.
It’s been really tough for the Lady Hawks, but I’ll be the first to say that they were better than their record in 2022, and they’ll be bringing back most of their team and their best player, Tylee Henrie, next season.
Stay the course, ladies. You’ll be there soon.
GUNNISON VALLEY – Around the World
“Around The World” is an elementary school recess tradition of my childhood. Start on the side of the paint below the basket. Proceed to shoot from each spot around the key, then proceed around the 3-point line, making each basket as you go. If you miss a shot three times in a row, start over.
The Lady Bulldogs could spend all summer long playing this.
I won’t denigrate Gunnison completely. They are a tenacious defensive squad and give every team their best on that end of the court, but tough defense isn’t putting the ball in the hoop, and Gunnison needs some real help on that end after averaging a flat 30 points per game in region this season.
Prospective senior Rilee Dyreng is a solid all-around player. Even moderate improvement from the rest of the roster in shooting the ball would make Gunnison able to throw some punches in region play almost immediately.
WASATCH ACADEMY – Rear View Mirror
Yeah, that’s right, I skipped the hyphen on purpose. Come get me.
While unheralded in our coverage of basketball this year, the Lady Tigers were still out on the court this season, but it was not pretty.
Wasatch Academy girls basketball had the wrong kind of perfect season, going 0-19 overall, and most of their games were decided by more than 30-40 points while the Tigers frequently failed to score more than 10 points per game as a team.
The cupboards were left bare for new head coach Vito Winkworth after the program had turned out multiple Division 1 college recruits. It looks like a long climb made longer without bona fide stars on the roster like before.
The best thing the Tigers can do is move on. Good luck in 2022-23.