High school girls basketball: Bonneville, Springville put perfect seasons on the line in 4A tournament
TAYLORSVILLE — It's hard to imagine winning 21 straight games and not discussing or celebrating the accomplishment.
But that's how both top-ranked Springville and second-ranked Bonneville have handled undefeated seasons.
"We've just never really addressed the issue," said Red Devils head coach Nancy Warner. "Our whole mindset is just to focus on the game ahead."
Laker head coach Mike Russell said his team has responded the same way.
"I think the kids thought they could do it, but it wasn't really talked about," he said. "We just take it one game at a time and never ever overlook any opponent and give everyone the utmost respect. We've just happened to win 21 in a row, and we haven't looked back."
Both coaches say nothing will change when their teams suit up for the 4A state tournament Tuesday at Salt Lake Community College. Of the two, Springville plays first, taking on Mountain Crest at 11:10 a.m. Bonneville follows at 12:50 against Maple Mountain.
An unfortunate bracket has the state's two undefeated teams on the same side. But that is not something either team is concerned with on the eve of the tournament.
"It really doesn't matter that we have Springville in our bracket," said Russell. "All we're thinking about is Maple Mountain. If we happen to play them in the semifinals, we'll think about it. We don't talk about them at all."
Warner said her team looks at every team as the team that could end the Red Devils' season. It is the urgency that makes the state tournament so unpredictable.
"I think there is a lot of factors," Warner said of why teams seem to bring their best to the tournament. "The mindset that anything can happen, and so anyone really can beat anyone. Teams are motivated, excited. The fact that it's one and done probably has something to do with why teams bring their best game."
The Lakers are led by Fresno State commit Emilie Volk, junior Cortney Porter and junior Kayla Eilertson. Springville relies on Utah commit Malia Nawahine, Savannah Park, Brooke Wheeler and Ashli Averett.
Sky View is ranked third and drew Salem Hills in the first round, a game that promises to be one of the best.
Bountiful is ranked fourth and takes on Herriman in the first round of the tournament. The Braves, led by senior guard Kennedy Merrick, had just a single region loss to Cyprus, a team faces Hillcrest in the first round.
Whitney Nemelka leads the Huskies, while Marquessa Gilson, Julie Caputo and Abby Barrett lead the Pirates.
Timpview could be a dark horse after tying for second and earning the No. 2 seed from its region thanks to tie breakers. The team is led by Lauryn Dela Cruz, Audrey Smith, Lennon Mangum and Lacy Haddock. The T-birds open the tournament with Logan.
While Murray could be another dark horse with a late region win against Skyline, one of the most exciting first-round matchups is between Skyline and Orem.
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