With Mercedes, it’s just a matter of her staying focused and making shots, because she can get any shot she wants any time she wants. —Viewmont head coach Clint Straatman
WOODS CROSS — On Wednesday at Woods Cross High School, it was the Mercedes Staples show — again.
Staples scored 21 points to lead Viewmont to a 53-46 victory over Woods Cross and give the Vikings their 12th straight victory.
Staples started off slow, scoring just two points in the first quarter, before coming alive for the rest of the contest. Staples scored 14 points in the second half of the contest — after scoring seven in the first half — to give the Vikings a boost.
“They tried to defend her, but she can get anything she wants. With Mercedes, it’s just a matter of her staying focused and making shots, because she can get any shot she wants any time she wants,” Viewmont head coach Clint Straatman said. “They did okay on her, but she’s just a good offensive player.”
But it wasn’t just Staples on Wednesday night. Her teammates also helped out in the victory, especially down the stretch. Kenna Morris scored nine points and Anna Mackay added six.
“We have good leadership, good senior leadership, and we had people make big plays when they had to, we kind of have been doing that all year, somebody steps up and makes a big play for us. There were a couple kids that got some good rebounds and made some good plays for us,” Straatman said.
Woods Cross was aided by Olivia Barton, who led all scorers with 23 points. The Wildcats got off to a fast start, but the Vikings kept plugging away, and led 13-11 after the first quarter. In the second quarter, Viewmont outscored Woods Cross 11-5 and seized control of the game.
“We actually just sat there and were like ‘We’ve never played like this before, this isn’t our game, we’re kind of playing there’s, we just need to go back to our game,” Staples said.
Viewmont had to battle down the stretch to secure the victory after Woods Cross made a late surge. The Wildcats cut the game to four points on a shot by Barton, but Staples made two free throws to push the lead to six. Barton came back with another shot to make it a 50-46 game, but two trips to the free throw line from Emma Carr, resulting in three points, iced the game.
“It doesn’t matter, whoever comes off the bench, we do have a good team chemistry and the kids, whoever is out there, we know they’re going to step up and do what they have to do. It’s just overall a good team effort, but we just step up, whoever’s next, they step up and play,” Straatman said.
Viewmont is now 3-0 in Region 5 play, and it doesn’t look like the Vikings will slow down anytime soon, but the competition is getting tougher for Viewmont.
“We have a tough region, I think our region is really, really good,” Straatman said.
“Obviously, these wins just help us moving forward, gives us a better seed going into state,” Staples said.