BOUNTIFUL The nine seniors on Box Elder's girls basketball team have spent so much time together, they are more like sisters than teammates.
"It's like a big slumber party at every practice," said Bees senior center Mandy Munns, who led the team with 16 points and 10 rebounds in its 57-31 win over Bountiful on Wednesday.
The win keeps the Bees' perfect region record of 5-0 intact for another day. But these players are experienced enough to know not to take anything for granted.
"We're just trying to take the games one at a time," said senior forward Tiffany Wilde, who finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.
They know being the only unbeaten team in the region makes them the target of every other squad.
"In our region you never know whose who's going to come out and play," said Box Elder coach Kris Harding. "It's a great thing to start out well, and for us, most of our first round is on the road."
The Bees seemed a little out of sync in the first half for such a tight-knit group. Harding thought the players might have been a little off because she asked them to run some new plays during the game.
"We never really settled in and played," she said. "We were forcing things, rushing things. We were having them press and pushing transition points. It changed the flow of the game; it changed the style of the game for us. I didn't think it would be that dirty."
It was not a pretty game as both teams had double-digit turnovers.
"We just rushed everything," Harding said.
Her players said they were a little nervous, although no one could articulate why that would be after they jumped out to a lead and held Bountiful scoreless for most of the second quarter. The Braves didn't score from about the three-minute mark in the first quarter until Shayli Iosefa hit a field goal with 1:43 left in the second quarter.
The Braves have faced senior laden teams in their last three opponents, something they don't have with just four seniors on the roster.
Bountiful was led by Kate Pawlowski, who finished with 12 points, three of those 3-pointers. Iosefa added seven points.
Munns said Harding told her players at halftime to forget the game's first half.
"We were working on new things and we had some different girls in," said Munns, who will play for the U of U next season. "But we played tight."As for the region title, Munns is certain of only one thing "It's anybody's to win."