TAYLORSVILLE — The Syracuse High coaches knew Abby Call could shoot the ball.
The trick was convincing her to do it in a big game.
The junior said she just never felt the need to score in a big game until she checked into the top-ranked Titans opening round playoff game against American Fork Monday.
"I just went out and played with confidence," said Call, who hit three 3-point shots in the first quarter to spark the Titan offense. "It's the tournament. I just let it all go."
Her hot hand got the Titans fired up and gave them a lead they didn't relinquish in the game against a very tough Caveman team.
"When the kids are flying around it's fun," said Syracuse head coach Rob Reisbeck.
Senior guard Kiana Fonua was tagged with two fouls in the first few minutes of the game as the Cavemen jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Call came into the game and sparked the squad offensively and the energy translated into high-intensity defense.
"We've had kids in foul trouble of some kind all year. But we've always had other kids step it up."
He said the team may have been a little too energetic in the opening minutes of the game. The Titans have the chance to do something special as they improve to 21-0 this season after winning the 5A title last year with a perfect 25-0 record. Many of the players have experience from last year's championship season.
"I think we got a little adrenaline going," he said. Call's ability to hit the big shot in the early minutes was key in turning the momentum in their favor.
"That was huge," said Reisbeck. "I'm proud that she was able to do it in a game like this."
The Titan defense helped as the effort held the Cavemen to single digits in three of the four quarters.2 comments on this story
Offensively, Makenlee Williams led the scoring with 14 points, while Call finished with 13. Junior Brittney Martin added 12 points in a balanced offensive effort.
The Cavemen made some runs at the Titans with leadership coming from Cassidy Fraughton, who scored nine points, Shelby Carson, who added nine points, and Ashley Baugh, who finished with eight points.
The Cavemen only graduated three seniors, and are loaded with freshman and sophomores.
"We've got to get better," said head coach Corey Clayton. "We have the personnel to get better. Now they've seen what they need to do to be here. They've seen the skills; they've seen the confidence needed."