Tom Smart, Deseret News
PLEASANT VIEW — Slow starts have plagued the Weber girls basketball team this season.
In an effort to create a different dynamic, coach Rick Stoeckl asked them to bring their iPods and listen to music and focus before the game.
They came out tentative and trailed Clearfield 23-22 at halftime.
"All year long we've been coming out tentative," he said after the Warriors defeated the Falcons 59-41 Thursday night. "Our game is attacking the basket."
And that kind of offense requires aggression, energy and effort.
Lucky for Stoeckl, his players found that energy in the second half. The Warriors came out with a lot more energy, especially defensively. They held Clearfield to just five offensive rebounds.
"Our goal is to try and keep teams under double digits," Stoeckl said. The Warriors did that two of the four quarters.
What really set the two halves apart was how the players utilized each other. Led by senior Desiree Young, who had 18 points, six rebounds and four assists, the Warriors did a much better job of finding the open player in the second half. And more often than not, she drove to the basket.
"That's what's so good about this team," Stoeckl said. "They just share the ball — sometimes to a fault."
Freshman Jayda Bovero finished with 10 points, and she said seniors Young and Kennedy have been great leaders, albeit with different styles.
"When I'm lazy or not doing what I'm supposed to, Des (Young) calls me on it," said Bovero, who plays with the confidence of a veteran. "Kennedy ... she's got my back. If I make a dumb pass (or other mistakes), she just encourages me."
Young and Allen said they feel the team has the potential to do great things this season.
"We had a really good summer," said Allen. "We just played really well together."
Added Young, "We want to be number one in region and go to state and get to that state championship ... and take the title."
The girls share a smile.
"It will take a lot of hard work," said Allen.
Hard work that begins with finding a way to play four quarter of basketball like they did in the second half of Thursday's win. Clearfield matched the intensity of Weber's defense, but the Falcons couldn't match the outside shooting of the Warriors.
"We've had slow starts in the third quarter," said Clearfield coach Rebecca Packer. "We fall behind and then we have to fight back. We use all of our energy trying to catch up."
The Falcons were led by forward Jessica Watson, who finished with 13 points. She fouled out midway through the fourth quarter, in part because she was working so hard to get open for her teammates.
"As soon as we start to making shots, it will open it up for Jess," said Packer. "Our outside shooting hurt us."
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