2A high school girls basketball: Defense the key once again for Beaver
EPHRAIM — The Beaver girls basketball team isn't always able to score a lot of points, but they win games because they know how to keep their opponents from doing so.
With the top-ranked defense in 2A, the Beavers did what they do best in their 43-27 win over South Sevier in the first round of the 2A state tournament at Snow College Friday.
"Our girls don't really have big numbers," said head coach Jon Marshall. "We never really do, but our defense and rebounding has been good all year. If we ever get where we shot the ball really well, we're really tough."
Friday the team slowly built a lead it never relinquished against another defense-minded team. Marshall said the squad was sparked by Schyler Jordan, who came off the bench and scored nine points.
"She really had a great game," said Marshall. "We had a really balanced team. We don't have one player you can focus on."
Three of Beaver's players — Brielle Christensen, Brittney Blackner and Hattie Snyder — each added eight points in the victory. Macail Wood finished with seven points.
Shantae Dustin led the Rams with 11 points, while teammate Hadley Jensen added seven points.
Marshall said his team was prepared for a tough game Friday morning.
"We were nervous," he said, despite having won an earlier contest against South Sevier in December. "They have a great program and they've always been good. We knew we were going to have to play really well today."
He said hitting some big shots gave the Beavers some breathing room. The win, however, isn't something they're going to get too excited about — at least not yet.
"It's sounds cliché, but we're going to take it one game at a time," he said. "At this point in the year, every game you play is the state championship game."
IN OTHER 2A TOURNAMENT GAMES:
GUNNISON 46, WATERFORD 18: Gunnison outscored Waterford 30-7 in the second half to pull away for the easy victory. The Bulldogs' defense held Waterford to just five field goals, and offensively Braylie Peterson led the way with 12 points while Chansey Caldwell added 10.
RICHFIELD 66, MILLARD 41:Sloane Roundy, Megan Bean and McKell Lajeunesse all scored in double figures to lead No. 1 Richfield to the lopsided victory.
NORTH SUMMIT 50, AMERICAN LEADERSHIP 39: North Summit knocked down 17-of-25 free throws in the second half as it pulled away from American Leadership for the victory. ALA led 22-19 at the half, but North Summit outscored the Eagles 31-17 in the second half. Susie Stephens led the Braves with 14 points, while McKenna Andersen and Dalila Rodriquez each scored 13 for ALA.
KANAB 53, SAN JUAN 33: Kanab stormed to a 21-2 lead in the first quarter and never looked back in a convincing victory over San Juan. Calli Jackson had a fantastic game with 18 points, while Kaytee Glover added 14 and Whitney Houston 10.
NORTH SEVIER 55, MAESER PREP 36:Kelsey Barney and Bailey Sorenson combined for 23 points as North Sevier cruised to the first-round victory.
SOUTH SUMMIT 46, MANTI 35: South Summit's first-half efforts led to the 11 point victory over Manti. Alisha Lewis led with 17 points.
ENTERPRISE 37, EMERY 27:Rylee Lyman led all scorers with 11 points.