Our key, what we have been working on all season is just being better defensively. I thought that our ladies listened to how we wanted to defend and came out in the first part (of the game) and executed. —Judge head coach Lori Jones
SALT LAKE CITY — When the junior varsity game between the Judge Memorial Bulldogs and the Summit Academy Bears ended Thursday night at Judge Memorial Catholic High School, 25 minutes were put on the clock, the time serving as the requisite warm-up interval for the varsity squads.
Soon after, the Bears came rumbling out of the locker room and began their pregame routine, with requisite layup drills and the like.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the floor, the Bulldogs were nowhere to be seen.
Five minutes passed, then 10 and still the host Bulldogs were a no-show.
Finally, with just five minutes remaining before tipoff, Judge emerged from the locker room.
Garcia and Tarver combined to score 41 points, 20 in the first two quarters, and the Bulldogs jumped on the visiting Bears early and often en route to a convincing 67-50 victory.
Judge outscored Summit Academy 22-6 in the first quarter and by halftime the lead was 21.
Summit Academy was led in defeat by senior Micah Gustafson, who scored 14 points.
Gustafson, the tallest player on the court by far and the Bears leading scorer this season (the senior came into the contest averaging 13.21 points per game), was the sole focus of Judge's defense.
The Bulldogs made a concerted effort time and again to front and double-team her in the post, to great success.
Gustafson was limited to eight points in the first half while her teammates managed to score just 11 more.
“Our key, what we have been working on all season is just being better defensively,” said Judge head coach Lori Jones. “I thought that our ladies listened to how we wanted to defend and came out in the first part (of the game) and executed.”
I thought they did a great job (defending Gustafson)," Jones added. "When you take away her points and the free throws (six in the first half by Summit Academy) they only scored eight points the entire half.”
The Bears came out of halftime and appeared to have solved the Bulldogs' defense, while at the same time tightening their own, outscoring Judge seven to four in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
Gustafson was especially effective, scoring all but two of Summit Academy’s points during the run.
Judge had an answer, however, in the form of Garcia and Tarver.
Garcia was excellent in the third period, scoring seven points and helping the Bulldogs weather the storm and then create what proved to be an insurmountable lead.
“She is growing with the program and getting better every day,” Jones said of her diminutive guard. “She is truly a special entity that we can use in more ways than one. She is going to be a catalyst for us on both ends of the floor.”
With the win, the Bulldogs (7-8, 1-0) snap a three-game losing streak and pick up their second region victory, while the Bears (7-9, 0-2) are in the midst of their own three-game skid.