OREM — The Orem Tigers felt the distinct chill in the air before their game against the Springville girls basketball team even began. And Springville took advantage of Orem's frosty shooting and their own terrific talent to take an easy 76-41 victory over the Tigers.
Last year's 4A runners-up must be considered a solid favorite to return to the title game this season with the loads of talent they place on the floor and the incredible hustle they're always putting forth.
"We take pride in our defense. We want to stop penetration and rebound after only one shot. That gives us the opportunity to score in transition. I never have to get on them to play hard. Every single one of them plays hard all of the time," said Springville coach Nancy Warner after her Red Devils dismantled yet another preseason opponent.
They now stand with a 5-0 record this season, but that record will be put on the line when they take on No. 1-ranked American Fork this Friday.
The Red Devils have a height advantage over most opponents, and they used that advantage extensively against Orem throughout the game, as they not only held the Tigers to only one shot on their end of the court, but the Red Devils picked up offensive rebounds time and time again to give themselves multiple opportunities most times down the court.
Three Red Devils put themselves into double digits on the glass, as Jessica Jensen, Lexi Eaton and Mackenzie Nielson each ended up grabbing 10 rebounds. Aubrey Smith wasn't far behind and she pulled down seven for the Red Devils.
Springville pounced on the Tigers early, snagging a 23-8 lead by the end of the first quarter and a 43-16 bulge by the end of the first half.
But a little lapse in focus by Springville and more aggressive play by the Tigers in the third quarter concluded with the Tigers actually outscoring Springville 21-17 in the quarter behind solid play from Lauren Chung-Hoon, who finished with 11 points. Maggie Plothow also used her immense talent to pick up 15 points in the game, eight of those in the third period.
But solid Tiger play in the third could overcome four Springville players finishing in double digits, led by Eaton's 18-point performance. Three Springville players finished with double-doubles, as Jensen with 12 points and Nielson with 11 more joined Eaton in grabbing double-digit boards and putting in double-digit scoring.
Sadie Clements poured in 15 points, including a pair of treys, in yet another solid performance for the Red Devils.
"We've got some talent," admitted Warner, who noted her team's defensive and rebounding lapses in the third quarter and noted that they appeared a little lazy and complacent at times. But she also gave the Tigers plenty of credit for their own play in the period.
"They showed in the third quarter what kind of team they are. They're going to have a great season," Warner said of her opponents.