LEHI The Lehi girls didn't want to start their basketball season with a strikeout. So, after scoring a pair of strikes against their first two opponents, they picked up a home run in game three to give themselves a lift and a 1-2 record.
The Pioneers rushed out early and never let Hillcrest near the lead after the first few moments, eventually blowing their opponents out with the 58-30 final score.
Despite the satisfaction with the effort they put forth in their first victory, the Lehi Pioneers were a little hesitant in their celebration as their top player met with what could easily have been catastrophe with less than two seconds remaining in the game.
Jackie Cattani stole the ball near half court from the Huskies, then turned and ran in for an easy lay-up, but one of the Huskies was a little upset with the fast break attempt, giving Cattani a shove from behind. Cattani slammed her knee into the wall behind the basket after hitting the lay-up and was down for several minutes.
"Cattani bruised her knee. We're hoping it's nothing too bad," said coach Khalil Sikander, who said that his trainer believed it was just a knee bruise but that they were going to be careful. The sophomore leader did finish the game with a game-high 17 points.
Other than the injury problem, of which Sikander didn't blame the Hillcrest team, the Pioneers were happy with their progress and hoping to parlay the confidence they gained in this game into the rest of the season.
"They stepped up all week and worked on their shooting. Finally they started falling for us. We needed that one," said Sikander.
And his team played like they needed it, finishing the first half with a 27-7 lead after putting up some baskets of their own and stifling the Hillcrest attack with some great defense.
"We wanted them to beat us from the outside. We knew if we played a good zone it would hurt them and we could get fast break points of our own," said Sikander of his defense, adding, "We controlled the ball on both sides of the floor and executed our offense. We ran stuff perfectly and got what we wanted all night."
One thing the Pioneers weren't able to do was stop Hillcrest sharpshooter Jill Scheid in the second half. The Husky shooter finished with 15 points on five treys, four of them coming after halftime.
The second half provided a much closer effort with Lehi only outscoring the Huskies 31-23 even though they did win every quarter.Briar Sands finished the game with 14 points for the Pioneers, while eight players got into the scoring column.