Lady Bulldogs fall to
Altamont and No. Summit
By Ben Lasseter
The Gunnison Valley girls’ basketball team wrapped up their 2020-2021 regular season last week with two losses. One came on Thursday at Altamont, 18-34, and the other at home on Friday against North Summit, 42-71.
The Bulldogs earned the No. 15 seed in a bracket of 22 teams in the 2A state tournament with their record of 6-13 and 2-8 in regular-season regional play. They will host 18-seed Utah Military Academy – Hill Field tonight. The winner of tonight’s game will face North Summit, which is seeded second-highest in the tournament and has a first-round bye.
The opponents Gunnison Valley faced last week, especially North Summit, were among the toughest matchups to occur throughout a regular season defined by inexperience, adversity and growth, according to Coach Melissa Sorensen.
Throughout the year, Sorensen has praised her players, none of whom were starters last year, for stepping into new roles and playing through adversity.
The Altamont game on Thursday was lower scoring than the first matchup, which the Longhorns (9-8, 5-5 in 2A Region 16) won in Gunnison 41-27 primarily off of suffocating full-court defense in the first half. They brought the same approach this time around and held the Bulldogs to only five points in the first half.
If Gunnison Valley players were suppressed in points against Altamont, their effort showed in the rebounding stat column, where junior forward Raven Pickett logged 15 and sophomore guard Rilee Dyreng had 12.
After North Summit put together a lead of 37-13 in the first half on Gunnison Valley’s Senior Night, those seniors made a push to finish with a different kind of scoreboard than the last matchup, which the Braves dominated, 69-15.
Guard Kayzia Caldwell sank seven 3-pointers for all 21 of her points on Friday, a season-high for the team. She also had seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. She, Josse Peterson and guard Naomi Willden contributed to what was a spirited senior-led effort in the second half when the game was already out of reach.
North Summit also scored more points in the second half, 34-29, but with the margin so much smaller, the game ended on a more positive note for the home team and crowd.
Forward Jayde Peterson was in the game after weeks of a wrist injury bothering her. She had three rebounds and an assist, and guard Josse Peterson had four rebounds.
Tonight’s opponent, Utah Military Academy – Hill Field, went 5-16 in the regular season. The winner will travel to face North Summit on Friday.