One thing about these girls is that each one of them is competitive and I know it’s going to be tough to beat us twice no matter who you are. They take that stuff personal. —Judge Memorial head coach Anthony Alford
SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly a month ago, the Judge Memorial girls basketball team found itself on the losing end of a Region 6 meeting with Bountiful.
Poor shooting led to a poor first quarter, and the Bulldogs never recovered.
When the two teams met for a second time Friday evening — and entered the game first and second in the region standings — Judge was not about to let the Braves grab ahold of the early momentum.
“We just had an off-shooting night at their gym, I felt,” head coach Anthony Alford said after his team avenged that loss with a 58-42 victory. “We didn’t really do anything different. We just had a better shooting night, executed a little bit better.”
Senior guard Kailie Quinn set the tone early, hitting four 3-pointers and sparking a 17-6 run in the opening quarter. Rachel Shubella added another 3 and Judge closed the quarter up 23-10.
The Bulldogs’ shooting cooled off during the second and third quarters, and the Braves pulled to within four points, 35-31, with 2:14 left on the third-period clock. Bountiful scratched back into contention on the hand of its own hot shooter, 6-foot-4 sophomore Kennedy Redding, who scored a season-high 34 points and hit 8 of 11 from the foul line.
Judge center Vanessa Austin, a 6-foot-1 freshman who was charged with defending Redding, had her own big night on offense, scoring a team-best 19 points.
“She’s a freshman and nerves get her a lot,” Alford said. “Both of these Bountiful games she’s thrown up at halftime just from anxiety, but she still comes back on the floor and does that. She wasn’t happy about her game against them the first time, and she decided no matter what she wasn’t going to let anxiety get the best of her this game.”Comment on this story
The Bulldogs outscored Bountiful 17-9 in the final quarter and Quinn finished the game with 18 points, including an exclamation point of a reverse layup with 20 seconds remaining. Shubella added 15 points and three total 3s to push Judge into a first-place tie at the top of Region 6.
“One thing about these girls is that each one of them is competitive and I know it’s going to be tough to beat us twice no matter who you are,” Alford said. “They take that stuff personal. When we play together, when we talk defensively, and everyone knows their job and does their job, I think we can compete with anyone in the state.”
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.