High school basketball: Girls All-State basketball Defensive Players of the Year

Published: Tuesday, March 19 2013 12:40 p.m. MDT

4A DPOY: #20 Savannah Park, Springville Next » 4 of 5 « Prev
SPRINGVILLE — Whatever Savannah Park lacked in height, she made up for in hustle, intensity and athleticism.

“For her size, she had more of an impact than you would expect,” said Orem head coach Dave Gilchrist, whose Tigers faced Park twice in Region 8 play. “She was really good at intercepting passes on the wing. That created a lot of offense for them … And when she and Malia (Nawahine) would get going, they really complimented each other and it would just become a track meet. They created a lot of offense off of their defensive pressure.”

Whenever they faced the Red Devils, Gilchrist said his team had to prepare to deal with Park’s defensive strength.

“She’s an intense player,” he said. “The kids know they’re in for a long night when we play them. She is a really hard worker, which is usually the key to good defensive players, and she definitely had a motor that wouldn’t quit.”

Timpview head coach Casey Cooke Sundquist said Park “uses her size to her advantage.”

“She’s quick, she’s smart, she’s fiery, she’s fierce, she just gets after you and causes a lot of grief,” Sundquist said. “Her defense was huge against us in the state tournament. I’m ready for her to graduate.”

Springville head coach Nancy Warner said it is Park’s force that makes her such a great defender.

“She is relentless,” said Warner of Park who averaged 14 points, 3 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 2.2 assists per game. “She just kind of frustrated our opponents. Because she is smaller, I think she’s able to get her hands on the ball a lot more, whether it was stepping into a passing lane or stripping the ball away.”

She said in the team’s semifinal win over Bonneville and championship victory against Timpview, it was Park who led the defensive effort that helped the Red Devils finish the season 24-0.

“Her ability to anticipate, it was huge, and it showed itself in the state tournament,” said Warner.
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