High school girls basketball: Riverton Silverwolves remain on a roll, defeat Dons
SPANISH FORK — The Riverton Silverwolves are on a roll, taking a 9-1 record into their last game of the preseason against Springville this Friday.
They kept rolling right along as they went into Spanish Fork last night and took out the Dons 41-31, leaving Spanish Fork with a 3-8 record this season.
Riverton rode three keys to the victory.
First, they ran out with quickness and aggression in the first quarter, taking a 12-point lead early and holding onto a 17-9 lead at the end of the first.
Second, they rode the inside presence of Megan Johnson, who picked up seven points in the first stanza and five more in the second to head into the half with 12 points. She finished the contest with 18.
Third, they hit free throws at a 79-percent clip, tossing in 11-of-14 tries, while the Dons couldn't will a freebie into the hoop, only knocking down 6-of-19 attempts, which correlates to 32 percent.
"I'm glad we hit the clutch free throws down the stretch," said Riverton coach Ron Ence.
While the Silverwolves only hit 30 percent of their free throws in their only loss earlier this season to Brighton, they've really picked up that part of their game, solidly finishing things off in the fourth quarter.
Early in the game, the Silverwolves were slipping inside the Spanish Fork defense, getting the ball to Johnson, and she was attacking from the inside while Riverton's shooters were attacking from the outside with a pair of 3-pointers in the quarter.
"Megan is a good, solid post player. I think she's the best 6-foot post in the state. She's just a relentless worker offensively and defensively," said Ence.
The Spanish Fork defense then picked up in a flurry, but neither offense could get shots to drop, and Riverton went into halftime with a 24-15 lead.
The Dons picked things up in the third quarter and finally started showing a little life on the offensive end, with Brynlie Nielsen scoring seven of her team-high 13 points in the second half. The Dons closed the gap to just a three-point deficit, as they got to within 26-29 but couldn't continue the comeback.
Each team scored one field goal in the fourth quarter and counted on free throws the rest of the way, with the Silverwolves maintaining their advantage.
Riverton lost seven top players to graduation after dropping last year's 5A championship game to American Fork, and though the Silverwolves might not have the Division I scholarship players from last season on this year's roster, they are definitely still a team to be reckoned with. The Silverwolves are currently sporting a No. 4 state ranking and looking forward to starting their Region 3 schedule next week.