FARMINGTON — The Box Elder Bees don’t really scheme on defense.
Instead, head coach Aaron Dooley and the rest of the Box Elder coaching staff expect each Bee on the girls basketball team to be able to play man to man defense.
“We try to play straight up man,” Dooley said. “We don’t scheme too much.”
At times this season, they have done just that and well, as was the case in wins over Sky View, Bear River, Mountain Crest, Bountiful and Roy.
In other instances, the strategy hasn’t really worked out.
Tuesday night at Farmington High School, it worked to near perfection.
The Bees shut down the host Phoenix and walked away with a 47-32 victory.
“Defense was the key tonight,” said Dooley. “I thought our girls played with energy.”
The Box Elder (11-5, 4-0) defense in the second and fourth quarters in particular was what ultimately decided the contest.
Farmington (8-7, 2-2) scored just seven points in the second and six points in the fourth.
“We did a better job on the back screens and also at preventing the middle drive,” Dooley said, explaining his team’s improved defensive play in both quarters. “That was really the key tonight. We had to guard the back screen well and keep the middle drives out. When we did that, it really helped us out and put (Farmington) in some really bad spots offensively.”
The Bees needed to be stout defensively, in large part due to their own offensive struggles.
“I think Farmington, they came out ready to play, and their style of defense and the way they were playing took us away from what we wanted to do,” Dooley said. “It wasn’t the smoothest that we’ve been.”
Still, Box Elder did more than enough offensively, thanks in part to senior Emily Isaacson. The forward averages a team-high 17.7 points per game, and finished with a team-high 16. Annika Quayle added nine points for the Bees, Morgan Reeder seven.
“Offensively, we were pretty clunky,” Dooley said. “Yeah, we have Emily, we are good that way, but we have a lot of great players. Obviously Emily is one of them, and we were fortunate to have her tonight.”
That was clear from the outset.
Isaacson scored six first-quarter points — Quayle added four — and helped the Bees withstand a three-point outburst courtesy of Farmington sophomore Valerie Kunzler.
After one quarter, Box Elder held a 13-10 lead, a lead it would never surrender.
The second quarter was all Box Elder, and again it was Isaacson and Quayle who paved the way offensively.
At the half, the Bees led 23-17 and seemed well on their way to victory.
The Phoenix rallied in the third, however, or at the very least managed to stay within striking distance, thanks to Natalya Taylor, Brooklyn Perkins and Ashley Alldredge. The trio combined to score all nine Farmington points in the quarter.
It was all to no avail, as Box Elder clamped down defensively in the fourth, and ended any threat of a Farmington rally.Comment on this story
The Bees gave up just two fourth-quarter field goals while scoring 14 points.
It was a performance Dooley had waited for.
“We made sure we did what we wanted to do,” he said. “We matched their aggression with our own aggression, and made good, smart, intelligent plays.”
Farmington was led in defeat by Kunzler, who finished with eight points. Naomi Kehl added six for the Phoenix, who will look to bounce back when they face Viewmont Friday night. Box Elder, meanwhile, is set to host Woods Cross.