High school girls basketball: 2014 Deseret News MVPs worked relentlessly to lead their schools to titles
Each of the five girls basketball state championship teams had a player who was relentless in her pursuit to improve for the sake of her team. She was the first player to practice, the last one to leave, and never let frustrating losses or devastating injuries keep her from moving forward.
Whether her team dominated throughout the season or went on an unexpected run at state tournament time, each of these players was a key factor in her team cutting down the nets at the end of the year. And it was that role that earned each of them the title of MVP for their respective classifications.
Amanda Wayment, Fremont
When Fremont coach Lisa Dalebout first saw Wayment play as a freshman, she knew the forward was going to be good. What she did not know at the time, however, was just how much of an impact the now 6-foot-1 senior would have on girls basketball at Fremont High.
Now, at the end of Wayment's high school basketball career, she has left a lasting impact on the Plain City school, one that includes the Silver Wolves' first-ever girls basketball state championship and a Utah team's first-ever trip to the Dick's Sporting Goods High School National Tournament.
"She is one of those program-changers," Dalebout said. "She has played a big part in elevating this program, and it will stay that way for years."
Much of Wayment's impact has come through her work ethic, an unyielding focus on getting better and playing smarter, traits Dalebout attributes to the senior's "farming background and blue-collar values."
"She gets the most out of her talents because she is one of the hardest-working, most-committed kids I've coached," Dalebout said. "She has a way of getting to the hoop. She's one of the best offensive rebounders I've seen."
During her senior season, Wayment averaged 14.9 points per game, committed to play at the next level for BYU, recorded nine points and nine rebounds in the 5A title game, and went to work expanding her shooting range to prepare for her next stage.
"As the years have gone," Dalebout said, "from her sophomore year to her senior year, she has improved more than most. She has been a fantastic teammate and has done so much for Fremont."
Savannah Park, Springville
Midway through her senior season, Park was hit with adversity.
In the middle of December, she went down with a severely sprained ankle when she planted her foot funny and adjusted to relieve pressure on her knee.
"She missed three games with that high-ankle sprain," said Springville coach Camie Oakey. "During that stretch, we really missed her."
With two state championships and a runner-up finish already under her belt, Park was the team's senior leadership, experience, and court general, all rolled into one 5-foot-4 ball of energy — and she was suddenly sidelined indefinitely.