RIVERTON — To some people guarding a 6-foot-6 college bound post player might seem like an intimidating assignment. For Riverton senior Megan Johnson, who spent last season recovering from a torn ACL, it was a dream come true.
"I was so excited," said Johnson, who was one of many Riverton players whose defense kept Pleasant Grove senior Jennifer Hamson in check as the Silverwolves defeated the Vikings 36-25. "We were all excited. We came up with that (double team) yesterday. We had great help defense."
The Silverwolves defense, especially down low against the BYU-bound Hamson, was stifling.
"It was a great defensive effort," said Riverton head coach Ron Ence. "They were timid at times, but I told them 'Don't be afraid. Stay after it. Yes, you're going to get a few shots blocked. But stay aggressive. Stay focused.'"
The Silverwolves used a variety of players, including Johnson and forward Caitlin Nelson, to try and contain Hamson, whose long reach makes her hard to guard.
Riverton graduated nearly all of last year's second-place team, but the expectations remain high.
"If anything, it put a little more pressure on them," said Ence.
"We lost some fire power last year. This group has just been very focused and they're trying to find their own identity. They're a team that's going to have to work their guts out on defense."
That's just fine with Johnson and company.
"Our best offense is our defense," said Johnson with a smile. "Last year's team set the bar high. We don't feel pressure, but we expect it of ourselves."
This team is without a superstar, which is the way they say they prefer it.
Adds senior guard Allee Carter, "We want to follow right into their footsteps. We know if we play as a team, we'll do well. We just want to make our teammates look great."
Johnson said their strength will be finding ways to contribute depending on what's needed.
"If a person can't score 10 points, then they can get 10 assists," said Johnson, who led the team's scoring with 11 points. Carter added eight points in the win.
Hamson led the Vikings with nine points.
"They played hard," said Carter of the Vikings. "It was fun to play such a good team. They pushed us. We really had to help each other out on defense."