Alta and Spanish Fork met in the first round of the girls’ 4A state playoffs, and the Hawks flexed their offensive muscles to come away with the win.
It was a 70-55 win for Alta in the first round of playoffs. The Hawks came in ranked first in 4A scoring offense and showed why they are at the top. Junior Mariah Martin and sister freshman Kemery Martin are the team’s top two scoring players.
“Mariah has stepped up as a leader, as a captain, and has definitely shined in the offensive end,” Alta head coach Elizabeth Gustafson said.
Kemery Martin hit some big 3-pointers while Mariah Martin used her speed and ball handling to control the tempo.
“[Kemery] always plays amazing,” Mariah Martin said. “She always hits that 3-point shot, and I love playing with her.”
The two combined for 40 of Alta’s points. Another offensive influence on the Hawks is junior Tatiana Thompson. Thompson racked up 15 points in the paint. Thompson used her speed and superior post-play to dominate down low.
Alta scored a lot of its points off fast-break plays. Mariah Martin, as the point guard, enjoys the speed and tempo of that style of play.
“I like it a lot, that is probably one of our best factors on our team,” Mariah Martin said.
Kemery Martin is not the only freshman on the team that had an impact. Fellow freshman Deserae Falatea had a power presence on defense and knocked down five points.
“She’s definitely stepped up from the beginning of the season,” Gustafson said. “She is a great competitor and great attitude all around. All around she is a great player.”
The Hawks established a lead with their high-scoring offense in the first quarter and never let up as they extended the lead every quarter to ensure they didn’t go out like last year. Alta had a tough loss in the first round of the 2015 5A state tournament to Lone Peak. This year, the Hawks were moved down to 4A.
I said ‘what do we want to accomplish as a team this year,’ and they all said that they want to get further than what we did last year,” Gustafson said.
Alta will only get a single day of rest before it faces the Highland Rams on Wednesday.