LAYTON — With Tuesday's victory at Layton, the Viewmont Vikings have won as many games this season as they did the previous three years — combined.
Some of that success comes from a tough new coach and a talented new teammate.
"It's been great fun to play with (Xojian Harry)," said center Tyler McFarland after Viewmont defeated Layton 46-43."We get along great. And our coach is great. He really knows a lot."
To which Harry, who transferred to Viewmont last summer for her senior year, adds, "He's made improvements in all of us, especially defensively."
Which is a good thing because it was the team's defense that helped it withstand a Lancer comeback Tuesday night.
Clint Straatman coached for 15 years in Idaho before taking the Viewmont job last summer.
"They'd won nine games in four years," he said. "I love to teach kids the game. These kids are hungry for someone to teach them how to play."
He said their improvement on defense is more than just a change in attitude.
"They've worked hard and fundamentally they've come a long way," he said.
The team was led by Harry, who scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds. Isabella Swan added 10 points and McFarland finished with seven points.
The Lancers were playing without high scorer Addy Moore, who suffered a sprained ankle in practice last week. Two other players are still recovering from concussions, including the team's point guard.
"We're down to 16 players in all three programs because of injuries," said Layton coach Van Price. "We have a lot of girls trying to pick up the slack. Our young players are getting a lot of time."
Layton's bright spot was Courtnee Wood, who played well on both ends of the floor. She scored seven points and grabbed eight rebounds. The team was paced by point guard Amber Daly, who scored 10 points and was responsible for distributing the ball.
Both teams acknowledge that every game in Region 1 tests ever aspect of their games.
"We know that our region is good, but we just have to keep pushing," Harry said. "You have to beat the best to be the best. No one is going to give a game away."
The 2010-2011 Utah McDonald's All-American Nominees were named earlier this week.
Only seniors are eligible for the honor and must be nominated by club or high school coaches.8 comments on this story
The high school boys nominated for the honor were: Mike Brown, Wasatch High School; David Collette, Murray High School; Tyrell Corbin, West High; Gatete Djuma, West High School; Casey Evans, Morgan High; Jordan Hamilton, Lone Peak High; Dallin Kay, Juab High; Jack Larson, East High; McKay LaSalle, Bountiful High; Loi Masina, Brighton; Brant Mecham, Box Elder High School; Chris Melville, Timpanogos High; Joe Mero, Jordan High; Corbin Miller, Brighton High School; Logan Mortenson, Juan Diego Catholic High School; Darren Powers, Pine View High School; Ryan Sagers, Timpview High; London Simonsen, Salem Hills High; Matt Sumsion, Springville High; Braden Wright, Payson High.
The high school girls nominated were:
Abbie Brickley, Skyline High; Sadi Dias, Pine View; Lexi Eaton, Springville High School; Marquelle Funk, Lone Peak High; Ashley Garfield, Morgan High; Xojian Harry, Viewmont High School; Brianna Jessop, Mountain Crest High; Whitney Johnson, Lone Peak High; Tressa Lyman, Enterprise High School; Taylor Mann, Emery High; Addison Moore, Layton High School; Tia Pappas, Carbon High; Kaitlyn Richens, Union High School.