Snow Canyon seniors Liz McArthur and Alex Jensen aren't sure being new to 4A is a disadvantage.
"I think it actually works to our advantage," said McArthur after the Warriors cruised to a victory against Highland 69-32 Friday night. "Instead of worrying about who we're playing, we just worry about playing our game."
And that game is pretty impressive.
The Warriors dominated the contest from beginning to end with solid rebounding, a potent offense and a tough press. Snow Canyon improved its record to 10-1, playing all but two contests against other 4A schools. The players aren't intimidated by the move, especially since three of the team's starters helped the Warriors to a 4A volleyball title in November.
"There are a lot of good teams in 3A and there are a lot of good teams in 4A," said Snow Canyon coach Wade Jensen. "We're just not familiar with the programs in 4A. A lot of this is new to us."
Snow Canyon opted for a two-game road trip this week, taking on Murray Thursday and Highland on Friday.
"It is fun for the girls to get away," he said, "and play some good basketball."
The Warriors have all the ingredients of a successful team, including a solid post players in Angela Walter, who finished with 18 points. Guard Whitney Dunlop added 14 points, while Kylie Friedel and Liz McArthur added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
"Most of these girls are three-year starters," said coach Wade Jensen. "They're very athletic and they move the ball well. They share the ball well."
Snow Canyon did just that against the Rams, who are led by their third coach in three years.
"Foul trouble and turnovers," said Highland coach Vicki Bohney. "That's our nemesis. We have talented scorers if we can hang onto the ball."
Bohney said taking over the program has been difficult because of the lack of consistency in coaching.
"But I can't say enough about this group and their chemistry," she said.
The Rams have some athletic players and Friday's defensive effort was led by guard Mixsa Kafi. The point guard did an excellent job on both ends of the court, but missed much of the second half due to foul trouble. Forward Natasha Roe led the team offensively with nine points and 11 rebounds.
"My goal is to rebuild this program," said Bohney, who was hired two weeks before the season started. "They know I'm here for the long haul."
With seven sophomores and seven juniors, the Rams could look something like Snow Canyon if they continue get along off the court.
In fact, Snow Canyon's players said their experience together gives them confidence in their new environment.
"We have a lot of chemistry," said senior guard Alex Jensen.
Adds McArthur, "We know what we're going to do because we've played together for so long. We'll be fine if we just play hard."
As for moving up into a larger classification, well, the Warriors are taking that in stride.
"It's a new challenge," said Dunlop. "Sometime to work through."