TAYLORSVILLE — Judge Memorial's post players and defense proved to be the difference in its 49-41 win over Box Elder in girls basketball.
The Bulldogs had a slow start to the game with their guards not having much success finishing drives. But they started having success with their bigs, juniors Vanessa Austin and Mayree Ellis, toward the end of the first half.
“I am defensive first coach,” Judge head coach Paul Shiramizu said. “We try to make stops and we try to make things uncomfortable for the offensive.”
The Bees were having most of their success with their outside jump shots. Junior Keslee Stevenson is Box Elder's leading scorer with 15.3 points a game and punished the Bulldogs early.
After the first quarter, the Bees led by only a single point. Once Judge starting incorporating its players down low more, the lead shifted and Judge led by five at the half and held Box Elder to only four points in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs' defense had an even better quarter in the third as it only allowed two points to be scored.
“We have made a staple of going man-to-man,” Shiramizu said. “Also applying what we call ‘100 pressure,’ which mean we want to try and get the ball over to the deep corners so we can apply a trap.”
The Bees' full-court press defense started to be successful as Judge made a late push in the fourth quarter. But it was Judge’s late free-throw shooting that kept its lead and secured the win.
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.