Lady Tigers undefeated in Region 17,
No. 3 seed going into state
By Matt Harris
MT. PLEASANT—The Lady Tigers’ best regular season is in the books.
After two wins last week over Real Salt Lake Academy, 59-30, and Utah Military-Camp Williams, 77-20, Wasatch Academy girls’ basketball completed an undefeated run through Region 17 to finish 17-3 overall and nab a No. 3 seed in the 2A state tournament starting this week.
“I am confident in every member of this team,” Coach Travis Madsen said. “They have worked very hard to become a great team, and I completely trust that they will give everything they have to be successful. We are capable of winning the championship.”
The Lady Tigers trounced every region opponent this year by at least 21 points in each game, propelled by the star power of senior Duda Raimondo and juniors Nataly Dunka and Debora Reis. The dominant trio shoulders nearly 80 percent of Wasatch Academy’s scoring output.
“The team made the most [of] opportunities to improve,” Madsen said. “When players have been absent for injury, other players have stepped up, and the team has become stronger. We have worked hard at turning weaknesses into strengths. The team is working well together and will hopefully be at their best for the state tournament.”
Injuries have caught the Lady Tigers lately. After Reis returned from injury last week, Raimundo suffered a jaw injury that took her out for the week, though Madsen is confident she will return in time for tournament play.
Against RSLA, it was not one of the three stars who stepped up, but it was junior Olivia Jessee, the Tigers’ third leading scorer, who erupted for 26 points in an easy win. Jessee combined it with 13 rebounds for a double-double. Dunka backed it up with 16 points.
Against UMCW, Dunka went absolutely bonkers, scoring 29 points including nine 3-pointers, while Reis had a monster double-double of 21 points and 26 rebounds. Jessee also scored 16 points.
Wasatch Academy earned a first-round bye in the 2A tournament and will face the winner of St. Joseph/Parowan tomorrow.